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ANGRY Crowthorne residents are fighting a bid to build an 80ft mobile phone mast "eyesore" by telecoms giant Orange.

They have already sent a 50-name petition opposing the masts to the company, local councillors and landowners Forest Enterprise.

Forest Enterprise own the proposed site for the mast at Brookers Row Triangle and south of Brookers Row.

Peter Salter, of Old Wokingham Road, is one of the organisers of the campaign.

He said: "We are extremely upset about the mast application. The visual impact is just one of our concerns.

"The vast majority of trees in the triangle have been felled, which means the height and size of the mast will tower above the remaining trees.

"There is the health and safety risk - just because there is no known risk at this time it is not to say scientists won't find one later when it's too late.

"We also think that Orange should have thought about siting the mast further away on the other side of Bracknell Road."

Mr Salter said that Orange said it had looked into other sites such as the Transport Research Laboratory but they have a no-masts policy.

He added: "Well that's not good enough, the resident's also have a no-mast policy - it's a question of human rights.

"The other issue is that initially Orange wrote to us providing details of a potential application giving us the opportunity to object, which we did.

"But less than three weeks later they had submitted a formal application to the council regardless of our concerns."

Wokingham Without Parish Council is not recommending this application be approved.

It is due to be considered by Bracknell Forest Borough council in April.

John Fletcher, of Brookers Row, added: "As a former member of the Forestry Commission I think it is a

disgrace that they have chopped down a number of trees and are planning to

put up an enormous mast instead.

"They are planning to replant trees there but it

will take at least 20 years before they reach a similar height.

"There are also lots of children who play in the area that will be affected."

Alyson Reilly, of Brookers Row, said: "My husband and I are very unhappy about the mast application.

"Having taken most of the trees out of there it is going to be very visible.

"And there are the health fears that surround phone masts and the radiation which might cause cancer."

The application includes three panel antennae, two dish antennae, and a 90 cubic metre equipment cabin enclosed by a 2.1 metre

close-boarded fence topped with three strands of barbed wire.

A spokesman for Orange said: "Orange has been using innovative designs such as trees, lamp posts and

telegraph poles for its telecoms installations for the past five years.

"The aim is to ensure that our sites blend in with the surrounding environment where possible."

"Orange acknowledges

public concern regarding the siting of transmitters, however, there is no conclusive

evidence that makes a link between exposure to radio waves, transmitter sites

and long-term public health risks.

"Orange will continue to operate within the stringent international standards set for radio networks by the international Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection.

"A typical Orange transmitter site operates at levels many hundreds of times below national and international guidelines in areas where the general public would have access."


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