All this week on Breakfast, we've been hearing from ordinary people who are campaigning to rid their neighbourhoods of just such developments.
Is it possible for ordinary people to campaign against developments like mobile phone masts and actually beat the big corporations?
In the final part of our series, we talked to three people who've done just that.
We also spoke to Dr Pat Troop, of the Health Protection Agency, a new official umbrella body which is launching a new study of the effects of incinerators, pylons and other possible pollutants.
"We are concerned about people's worries," she explained. "One of our programmes is to look at the effects of long-term low-level exposure to chemicals - at the moment, most of our studies are from chemical spillages."
The HPA brings together several existing organisations in a new grouping - and it also has 32 local teams, to help address people's concerns about the environment in their own area.
On today's programme Graham Satchell looked at the issue of pesticides.
He spoke to Georgina Downs whose family home is next to a farm which sprays pesticides onto its crops.
The government says there's no health risk from pesticides.
But some campaigners are still concerned about living near to those farms using them.
Georgina certainly feels that the drift from the pesticide sprayer on the farm next to her home led to a series of childhood illnesses.
Symptoms included a mouth full of blisters, headaches and flu-type illnesses. These - culminated in her spending a month in hospital.
The government is currently engaged in a consultation exercise in relation to pesticides.
It is looking at two issues : should farmers be legally obliged to inform local residents when they intend to spray their crops?
And should a buffer zone be imposed between farms and neighbouring residents?
If you wish to take part in that consultation exercise, click on the link below.
We interviewed Michael Paske, from the National Farmers Union about how and why farmers use pesticides on their fields.
Michael Paske emphasised that farmers are not breaking the law and said that there were already codes of practice in place which all farmers should be following.
But he welcomed the current consultation exercise.
And he also said that new reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy which have recently been announced by the European Union should also help the situation.
Monday: electricity pylons
On Monday's programme we heard from Maureen Asbury, from Stoke on Trent.
She believes that the electricity pylons which run through her estate are responsible for serious health problems, including depression and miscarriages.
Maureen carried out her own survey of residents living near the mast which overshadows her home.
She found increased incidences of depression, insomnia, headaches, eating problems and miscarriages.
But scientific reports for the government on pylons say that overall there is no convincing evidence of a public health risk.