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Battle over pub phone mast plan

02 March 2005
FURIOUS residents are fighting plans to put phone masts on a pub roof - just yards from two schools and a children's playground.

Mobile phone company Vodafone wants planning permission to put controversial G3 masts on the roof of Monkey Chews pub on the corner of Queen's Crescent and Marsden Road in Gospel Oak.

It is believed to have offered the pub's owners up to 25,000 a year to install the masts, disguised as a chimney.

Residents fear radiation from the masts could put children and pensioners at risk and are pleading with council chiefs to turn down the application.

The site is just yards from a popular children's playground, the nearby St Silas Church playgroup, Haverstock Secondary School and Rhyl Primary School. Joan Stally, secretary of the St Silas Tenants' and Residents' Association, said: "Children flock from all over to play around here and there are quite a lot of elderly people living very close to the site. We just don't think it's worth taking the risk because no one knows how safe these masts are."

Holborn and St Pancras parliamentary candidate councillor Jill Fraser (Liberal Democrat) has started a petition against the mast plans.

She said: "We've already got lots of masts in this area and we just don't need any more. Camden Council won't let residents put TV dishes on the side of their homes but they'll let phone companies put up these masts."

A Vodafone spokeswoman said emissions from the aerials would not go above 150 watts. "That's about the same level given off by a strong light bulb," she said. "And people must bear in mind that this installation is to provide local people with service because this is an area where we've had problems with coverage.


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