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Concern over Thorpe St Andrew phone mast plans

An application has been made to erect a phone mast at Thorpe Motor Co., Harvey Lane, Norwich.; Pictured are local residents Richard and Frances Whitefoot with their daughter Lizzie

An application has been made to erect a phone mast at Thorpe Motor Co., Harvey Lane, Norwich.; Pictured are local residents Richard and Frances Whitefoot with their daughter Lizzie

Archant 2011

A Thorpe St Andrew father has hit out at plans to build a phone mast near his house.

Richard Whitefoot, who lives on White Farm Lane in Thorpe St Andrew with his wife and two children, said he had health and safety concerns about the proposed site on Harvey Lane.

Phone giants O2 and Vodafone plan to build the mast in an unused yard at the back of the Thorpe Motor Company, which will provide 3G coverage for their customers.

In their application, O2 and Vodafone said: “With the rapid growth and advances in mobile telecommunications comes the need for additional infrastructure to cope with an ever increasing volume of network traffic and to provide the efficiency of services that today’s modern society has come to expect”.

But Mr Whitefoot, 30, said: “I think the proposed area is totally unsuitable; especially as mobile phone coverage is generally really good in the local area.

“It is going to look absolutely awful. It is right in a residential area and there is a safety issue with the mast, I think.

“There are lots of semi-detatched and detached family houses.The position of it is not good. It is right on the road so any cars travelling past will be able to see it. It is a very countryish area, the view is not going to be pleasant at all.” The site is next to the Woodrow Pilling park.

He said that any consultation with people living in the area had been done over the Christmas holiday period which had not given people a proper chance to become aware of the mast and make their views known.

O2 spokesman James Stephenson said: “There has been a great deal of health and safety work done on stations and masts over the past few months and the past few years and they’ve all come up with no evidence that they harm people’s health.”

He also said that research suggested that the existence of a mobile phone mast was not likely to affect the price of people’s homes.

He added that anyone with concerns should get in touch with the mobile phone company.

O2 and Vodafone has also submitted a planning application to Norwich City Council for a 14.8m tower with antennas outside the Shoemaker Pub at the Earlham West Centre in Norwich.

Is there a planning application for a mobile phone mast near your house? Contact reporter Annabelle Dickson on 01603 772426 or email annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk.

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