Pub's trade fears over mast plan

Feb 23 2006

The licensee of the Fox & Dogs pub is battling plans to site a mobile phone mast on a grass verge outside his venue - claiming it would lead to a loss of trade.

Locals have collected 1,000 signatures opposing O2's plans for a 15-metre monopole on the busy bend where Little Sutton Road meets Mere Green Road, on health and safety grounds.

Shops and businesses have become involved in the campaign to deter the firm from using the site - with the pub and its owners the Spirit Group leading the way.

Licensee Tim Harwood told the News: "We have a Wacky Warehouse children's play area, and there are a lot of mums in the area that are anti-mast. If the mast went up we would lose trade.

"From my own point of view, I've got two children of my own and they sleep in a bedroom on a level with where the mast would be, which is a major concern.

"Spirit are totally against having masts on their buildings, too. There's a lot of arable land around Sutton where masts could be put. But it seems that populated areas are not classed as sensitive any more.

"A friend of mine wanted to put a wall up but the council said they had to do it this way rather than that, so it was in keeping with the area.

"Why can't the same rules apply to masts?" He added that customers leaving the pub car park would be left with a blind spot because of the equipment cabin that would be sited next to the mast on the verge.

Local mum Lisa Martin has presented a petition to Coun Margaret Waddington (Con Sutton Trinity), who sits on the planning committee and who lives nearby.

Lisa said residents shared the pub's concerns about the impact on road safety of the mast equipment. She added: "Whilst the jury is still out on the dangers of mobile phones, until conclusive proof is found to convince people there is no danger, it would seem sensible that masts are not put in densely populated areas directly outside a busy family-orientated pub with a local school nearby."

O2 spokesman Jim Stevenson said: "Mobile phone masts do cause concern in your part of the world, but this would cause the least aggravation of all the sites we've looked at.

"We've consulted with the local authority and local planners don't seem to have any problem with the site.

"There's nothing to worry about in terms of health. Masts have been tested for months and months by scientists and nobody has yet come up with anything contradictory to the fact that they are completely safe." [Ed. every scientific report concerning Masts cannot guarantee complete safety from the technology, clearly this spokesman's part of the world is 'another planet' ].

Although the official deadline for comments has passed, residents can still send letters to the council quoting application number N/00589/06/NOT.

*In January, management at the nearby Pint Pot pub in Tower Road decided against having a mobile mast on its land, having been given the power to choose by pub owners Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries.

source: icSutton Coldfield Network News



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