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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 March 2007, 10:31 GMT
Unholy row over church phone mast
A Devon village pub landlord says he will not let churchgoers use the pub car park if a mobile phone mast is installed at the village church.

Marldon church and its parochial council wants to let T-Mobile install the mast on top of the church tower in return for being paid 4,000 a year.

The church's bell-ringers are against the plans and threatening to stop ringing if the mast goes ahead.

The Rev Peter Bellenes says people should calm down and allow a debate.

'Health risks'

T-Mobile is offering to pay the church 75,000 over 20 years to house the mast.

The parochial church council said it was a financial option it had to consider to keep and maintain the church, parts of which date to the 15th Century.

Bell-ringers say they are concerned about potential health risks if they are playing in the church tower.

T-Mobile said studies showed people living near to mobile phone base stations faced "extremely low" potential health risks from exposure to microwave radio transmissions.

It said the overall evidence indicated that such stations were unlikely to pose a risk to health.

Julian Cook, landlord at the Church House Inn, said if the move went ahead he would end the practice of letting Sunday morning worshippers use the pub car park.

The Rev Bellenes described the move as "sad".

He said people had become polarised early on in the debate, and it was time for people to be "less entrenched".


SEE ALSO
Concern over church phone masts
07 May 02 |  UK News

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