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Last Updated: Friday, 21 May, 2004, 18:26 GMT 19:26 UK
Commons rejects phone masts Bill
Phone mast
Potential risk to health is of concern to people up and down the country
A Suffolk MP has failed in his attempt to introduce stricter planning controls on mobile phone masts because of fears over health risks.

West Suffolk's Richard Spring has been calling for local authorities to be given greater control over the masts.

But Ministers are against plans - because they say the current system already provides sufficient controls.

Mr Spring's Private Member's Bill failed at its second Commons' reading on Friday.

Opening the debate on the second reading, Mr Spring dismissed suggestions that concerns about the impact of masts were an "outbreak of mass hysteria".

His Town and Country Planning (Telecommunications Masts) Bill would have limited the erection of structures near schools, hospitals and homes.

His proposals would also have required operators to produce a statement on how potential health and environmental concerns had been addressed, why the mast was needed and what alternative sites there may be.

'Unwelcome masts'

Mr Spring told MPs: "To say ill-health may not be connected to the unwelcome masts many would find an unacceptable argument."

He described concerns over links with serious illness and said the matter was of concern to people "up and down the country".

He said his concerns about a mast planned in his constituency had been "routinely ignored" by the operator.

Mr Spring called for a change in the situation in which masts under 15 metres and those sited on land belonging to Network Rail did not need planning permission.

Richard Spring
16 Oct 02  |  Politics
Controversial mast plan on hold
20 May 04  |  Shropshire
Anger over mast deadline error
01 Dec 03  |  Suffolk


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