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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 August, 2003, 08:17 GMT 09:17 UK
Residents angry over mast plans
Site of the mobile phone mast
The city council says residents were kept informed of plans for the mast
People living in Exeter say they were not told about plans to put up a mobile phone mast near their homes.

The 10-metre mast will be situated near a hospital and a school in Wonford.

Residents say Exeter City Council failed to tell them about the planning application from Hutchison 3G for the mast.

But the council insists local residents were kept fully informed of developments.

One resident, Samantha Hillier, said: "I think it was in January this year that, through word of mouth from a neighbour, we heard an application had been made.

"But I didn't know that planning approval had already been given at that stage."

Samantha Hillier
Samantha Hillier heard of plans from a neighbour
Amy McKain camped out for two weeks to buy her Ministry of Defence home just 20 metres from where the mast will be placed.

"The day after we signed contracts, I read in the local paper they were putting up a mast literally on my doorstep," she said.

"It is quite a shock when you have been through the buying procedure."

Hutchison 3G said that where there was local opposition to the siting of one of its masts, it tried to work with the community to find an alternative location.

International guidelines

But, on this occasion, it was not able to find one.

Many people are worried about the health implications of phone masts, but phone companies say they operate well within national and international guidelines.

Local councils are reluctant to turn down applications on health grounds, because if they do, the decision is generally overturned at an appeal.

Residents in Exeter hope their concerns will be raised at a public meeting.

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03 Jun 03  |  Cornwall
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17 Mar 03  |  England

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