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Phone-mast plan sparks objections

PUBLISHED: 09:31 24 March 2009 | UPDATED: 08:04 01 August 2010

BECCLES residents have spoken out against plans for a mobile phone mast just over 20m from their homes.

Vodafone is looking at sites for a new 10m-tall mobile phone mast in a bid to keep up with the latest technology and boost signal strength for users.

BECCLES residents have spoken out against plans for a mobile phone mast just over 20m from their homes.

Vodafone is looking at sites for a new 10m-tall mobile phone mast in a bid to keep up with the latest technology and boost signal strength for users.

Before submitting a formal planning application, it sought the views of the council about the location of the mast.

But their preferred site, on Gresham Road, near the Tesco turn-off from George Westwood Way, has angered some residents.

Melissa Squire said: "I live in a house on the corner which is going to be closest to it. I've read about these on the internet. In our street there are lots of little children and at the moment nothing has been proved, nothing has been disproved. I don't think I would sleep very well at night knowing that thing was near me.

"People are campaigning when they are 100m from them. It doesn't sit comfortably with any of us."

Her neighbour Amanda Burke, who has daughters aged 12 and eight, said: "When there are alternative sites I can't comprehend how they could put it near a residential area."

Graham Elliott, district councillor for Beccles North, said the vast majority of the neighbouring residents were against the idea.

Chris Andrews, who presented the ideas to the council, said other options, including sharing the T-Mobile mast on George Westwood Way, had been explored but found unsuitable. He said the existing signal coverage for G3 phones was insufficient for the new G4 phones.

He added that ideally the pole would be put up further from people's homes but said that trees would reduce the visual impact.

Mr Andrews agreed to look at Beccles Town Council's planning committee's suggestion of erecting the mast on the car park on Common Lane North.

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