Tower Watch



Protesters topple mobile phone masts as health scare spreads (30th November 2003)

Activists have begun tearing down mobile-phone masts around the country, as public concern over the health impact of the radiation they emit continues to grow.

The destruction of the masts - as many as four in a single week - signals a dramatic stepping up of the campaign to stop them being placed on top of, or close to, people's houses.

Earlier this month, masts were brought down at Wishaw and Dudley in the West Midlands, Crosby in Merseyside and Tiverton in Devon. At least four have also been brought down in Northern Ireland in recent months.


People power stops phone mast (30th November 2003)

CAMPAIGNERS have won their battle to stop a second mobile phone mast being put up yards from a primary school.

Angry residents slammed the plans for the 68ft mast in Whiteley Way – near Whiteley Primary School – fearing health risks for young children and possible radiation.

They wrote letters of objection and persuaded councillors to listen to their pleas at a meeting yesterday.


Bills Regulate Cell Phone Tower Placement (30th November 2003)

Assemblymember Michael Gianaris has introduced legislation regulating the placement of wireless cell phone towers on residential buildings.

Speaking at the November 18 meeting of Community Board 1, said Gianaris he and his colleague, City Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr. had jointly announced the bills earlier in the day at City Hall.


Health fears over phone mast could 'drive away' staff (27th November 2003)

A COMPANY battling to stop telecom giant Orange building a 100ft-high phone mast in Crowthorne fears it will lose staff now the plans have been approved.

Protesters say they will complain against the decision, made by the borough planning committee on Thursday.

Councillors voted that the mast should be built, even though almost 50 workers at the adjacent Wellington Business Park had signed a petition objecting.


Parish says no to mobile phone mast (26th November 2003)

WHITELEY parish council is preparing to fight its first big planning application by objecting to a mobile phone mast being put up the middle of the village.

The sleeves of the recently formed council are being rolled up in a bid to stop telecommunication company Vodafone putting up the tower on land next to the Solent Hotel off Whiteley Way.

An application for the 20.5 metre tower with six antenna has been received by Winchester City Council who, as the planning authority, are preparing to visit the site this week as part of deciding the application.


Health fear over phone mast plans (26th November 2003)

CONCERNS have been raised over plans to build a mobile phone mast on Langton Hill near Horncastle.

If given the go-ahead, the proposals by Vodafone could see a 15 metre mast with two antennae replace the old police mast in Bell's Yard.
The application also includes the provision of an equipment cabin at the site.

Town and district councillor for Horncastle, Fiona Martin said people are already frightened by the plans.


Phone mast plan toppled (25th November 2003)

A BID to put up a full-sized mobile phone mast just yards from a toddlers’ playgroup in a residential area of Church Crookham has been toppled following a groundswell of local protest.

The application for a Three (formerly Hutchison 3G) base station behind the Ridgeway Parade shops, on land owned by Verne Video proprietor Andy Artemis, stirred up a hornets’ nest but was finally withdrawn last week.


Mobile mast sold off (25th November 2003)

A controversial mobile phone mast which was illegally pulled down, is being turned into souvenirs by local residents.

The mast at Wishaw, near Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, prompted a number of protests by villagers who blamed it for a cluster of cancer cases.

The 22-metre mast fell down on Bonfire Night after bolts were removed from the base, in what police described as an act of vandalism.

Residents have now bought the mast from a scrap yard and plan to sell parts of it off as souvenirs.


Mobile phone mast bid rejected (20th November 2003)

OBJECTORS to a controversial mobile phone mast planned just metres from a primary school were celebrating last night after councillors refused the application over health fears.

Communications company Orange had applied for planning permission from Darlington Borough Council to build the 11-metre mast on Coniscliffe Road, near to St Augustine's Primary School.

At a planning committee meeting yesterday, the majority of councillors voted against the scheme, saying they were concerned about the health of children at the school.


Phone mast plan rejected (18th November 2003)

A PROPOSAL for a 17 metre high mobile phone mast at Davyhulme Circle has been thrown out by councillors.

The proposals, by Hutchinson 3G, to erect the monopole on a traffic island on the Hayeswater Road approach to Davyhulme Circle were rejected by Trafford council's planning committee last week.


Residents angry at phone mast plan (17th November 2003)

RESIDENTS and councillors in Daubhill have vowed to stop a phone mast firm putting up aerials just yards from a child care centre.

Telecommunications firm Daly International have written to councillors seeking their views about a plan to site a mast on the Morris Green Business Park, off Bella Street, but have yet to submit formal plans.

Horrified residents in the built-up area claim the mast would pose a serious health risk to adults as well as children who will use the Sure Start child care centre, in nearby Blackledge Street, when it opens next spring.


Cell phone towers ugly, but essential (16th November 2003)

No one wants a cellular phone tower overlooking their property. These are towers, after all, usually standing high above everything else around them, and most of them look like some kind of space-age weapon. Even the so-called "stealth towers" that are "disguised" as part of a building or "softened" with landscaping still stick out like a sore thumb.

Yet everyone who uses a cell phone wants a clear signal available all the time. And that demand for excellent cell phone service may skyrocket starting one week from now, when new federal rules will go into effect allowing Americans in metropolitan areas to use their regular home phone number if they switch to a wireless telephone.


Phone masts plan for roof of TA (16th November 2003)

A CONTROVERSIAL plan for six mobile phone masts and a dish on top of the Territorial Army centre is due to be approved on Wednesday.

Although a handful of residents and MP Kelvin Hopkins have officially objected because of health fears and because of the eye sore aspect, councillors on Luton Borough Council's development control committee will be told government advice is that there is no convincing evidence of a link between masts and ill-health.

However, they will also hear of a report of a recent case in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, where health concerns resulted in the overturning of planning permission for a mobile phone mast base.


Colchester: Pub's phone masts anger (16th November 2003)

A pub boss fears two mobile phone masts to go up on its roof next week will be bad for business.

The temporary manager of the Drury Arms, in Layer Road, Colchester, says customers have already reacted angrily to the news.

Parents of children who attend nearby Hamilton County Primary School are already up in arms after learning what workmen have been doing at the site.


Residents oppose cell phone tower plans (16th November 2003)

FRANKLIN - US Cellular's plans to put a 150-foot cell tower in one of the city's worst dead zones has customers happy but a neighborhood so upset it's circulating petitions and organizing in the name of preservation.

"We have been striving to improve the image of Franklin and, in my view, we have been making great progress," said Judith Ackerson, member of the newly formed Preserving Beautiful Franklin. "This would be a giant step backward and one from which we would never recover."


Planning agency OKs building two cell-phone towers (16th November 2003)

Planning officials last week approved plans for cellular-telephone towers in the Parkland neighborhood and the Southland Park area.

The towers would end "call blocking" caused by an increase in the number of cell-phone users, according to T-Mobile's application. The towers would improve both telephone and data-transmission services, said Paul Whitty, a lawyer who represented T-Mobile at the Planning Commission's hearing.


Blot on the landscape (13th November 2003)

ANGRY villagers say a phone mast sited on a cricket ground is a "giant blot on the landscape".

Now they are to be given a chance to air their views at a public meeting to be held next week.

Protesters say that the 100-foot mast at London Colney cricket ground in Green Street, Shenley - to be shared by five mobile telephone operators - is a health risk, spoils the look of the Green Belt area and will reduce the amount of parking available by 25 per cent.


Radio pirates hijacked phone mast (12th November 2003)

THE PLUG has been pulled on three DIY DJs broadcasting a pirate radio station. Ross Jacobs, 23, of Lullingstone Avenue, Swanley, was sentenced to 150 hours community punishment and ordered to pay £150 costs for his role in the trio's two-year illegal reign of airwaves.

Ring-leader Lee Grant of Southwood Road, New Eltham, and 32-year-old Seth Clark of Woodside Avenue, Wembley, also admitted charges in connection with broadcasting the Soundz pirate station.

The threesome hijacked a Vodafone mast in West Hill Dartford to broadcast their shows.


Phone mast rumour 'must stop' (12th November 2003)

Rumours a mobile phone mast is to be built in a city park are nonsense, according to a Coventry councillor.

Cllr Gary Ridley (Con, Sherbourne) said he has been deluged by calls from anxious residents concerned about plans to build the mast in Lake View Park, off Lake View Road, Coundon.

But neither he nor council officers have any idea where the rumours originated.


Hold on phone mast decision (11th November 2003)

A telecommunications company last night said it was still reviewing its options about when and where to put up a mobile phone mast that was felled by vandals.

The Crown Castle mast in Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield, was pulled down last Thursday night and residents had been blockading the site to stop a new mast being put up.

Landowners refused the firm access to neighbouring properties yesterday to allow them to put the 70-foot mast back.


Phone mast felled by vandals (9th November 2003)

A police investigation was launched today after a controversial mobile phone mast, blamed for a cluster of cancer cases, was felled by vandals.

West Midlands Constabulary said it was investigating criminal damage at the site of the 22-metre structure in Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield, after bolts were removed from the base causing it to collapse.

Reports of a rope found attached to the structure and of a four-wheel drive vehicle being used to topple it remain unconfirmed by police.


Phone mast applications signal fury from residents (9th November 2003)

Applications for two new mobile phone masts in West Ewell have been slammed by appalled residents.

The first, a Hutchinson 3G mast at the junction of Ruxley Lane and Kingston Road, is currently before Epsom and Ewell Borough Council.

The second, an O2 mast in Chessington Road, has yet to be submitted.


County braced for phone mast blitz (9th November 2003)

AN MP has warned at least 30 new mobile masts are being planned for the Colchester and Tendring areas - from just one telecommunications company.

Bernard Jenkin, the Conservative MP for North Essex, called for “proper consultation” over the siting of the antennae, which he said needed to address concerns about health risks and the visual effect on the countryside.

Mr Jenkin gave his warning about the 30 new masts - which are designed to cater for third generation (3G) technology - after a meeting with mobile phone company O2.


Mobile mast row continues (9th November 2003)

Protesters face a third night camping in the open air to prevent a controversial mobile phone mast being re-erected after it was sabotaged by vandals.

Villagers in Wishaw in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands set up the makeshift campsite on Friday after hearing that the mast's owners intended on re-erecting the structure.

Residents blame it for a spate of serious illnesses among residents, including cancer cases.


Suburbs do battle over phone antennae (9th November 2003)

Residents in at least eight Sydney suburbs are fighting the mobile telephone company Hutchison over the location of new antennae for its 3G network.

Groups at Oatley, Minchinbury, Castle Hill, Bilgola, Como, Gymea Bay, Engadine and Woolooware are embroiled in disputes with the company.

Some were inspired by the apparent success of Oatley residents, who after a year-long battle forced Hutchison to remove a pole it had illegally erected to house an antenna.


Communications breakdown in mast row (9th November 2003)

A TOP local government body has been accused of an "alarming breakdown in communications" in a row over the expanding network of mobile phone masts.

The Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) had agreed to invite anti-mast campaigner Walter Graham to address a key environmental committee last January.

But now, after more than NINE months, Mr Graham has received a letter telling him that "due to time constraints" it would not be possible for him to make a presentation.


City, Sprint eye FCI land to get to tower site (2nd November 2003)

City officials are again looking to the Federal Correctional Institution to help them meet the demand for another cellular communications tower in the city.

A proposal to put a tower on federal prison property died in 2001 when the city could not work out a deal with federal officials. This time, the city is merely going to ask FCI if it can cross prison land to build a tower on a wooded parcel off Route 37. 


Cell phone tower collapse blocks traffic (2nd November 2003)

A cellular phone tower collapse onto South Dakota Highway 50 stopped traffic for nearly two hours Saturday morning.

The Western Wireless (Cellular One) tower collapsed at 7 a.m. about four miles east of Vermillion. The two westbound lanes were closed until 8:45 a.m. when Department of Transportation crews were able to move the tower. Traffic was rerouted until then.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office investigated and determined the cause of the collapse to be metal fatigue involving one of three support cable anchors. The anchor failure occurred approximately six feet underground.


Mobile phone giants fail to connect with residents (2nd November 2003)

BOSSES of a mobile phone giant have gone back on their word after telling residents they would not set up a phone mast in their neighbourhood.

O2 began installing antennae on top of a factory in Albert Road, Wood Green, on Sunday without consulting residents who strongly opposed the proposal 18 months ago. Up to 300 people mounted a petition which prompted O2 to back down and search for another site.

Residents are angry the firm has returned and have branded the move 'cynical' and 'underhand'.


Storm over plan for phone mast (2nd November 2003)

A SIXTEENTH century church tower, believed to be Wirral's oldest surviving building, is at the centre of a mobile phone mast row.

The Rector of St Hilary's Church in Wallasey wants to complete restoration work on the Grade-II listed church tower by renting roof space to phone company T-Mobile.

The idea has angered conservationists and re-opened debate about the safety of telemasts, which use microwaves to support the mobile phone network.


Orange to appeal over mast refusal (2nd November 2003)

MOBILE phone company Orange has launched an appeal after it was refused planning permission to erect a 30 foot communications mast near homes in Netherfield.

Residents were unhappy with the mast's proximity to their houses made a number of points against the planning application.

They claimed that it would have been an unsightly blot on the landscape as it is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and also expressed concern over the damage such masts may cause to health.


October 2003 tower watch