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Telecommunications Masts

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:26 am on 28th June 2005.

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Photo of David Burrowes David Burrowes Conservative, Enfield, Southgate 10:26 am, 28th June 2005

I am grateful to my hon. Friend Mr. Clifton-Brown for securing this important debate. Few issues have caused more concern in my constituency. My maiden speech last week included a tour of my constituency. A more appropriate way to tour it might have been via its mobile phone masts, so great is the coverage. Only on Saturday I was in Slades Hill, where between 50 and 100 residents came out to protest against the planning inspector's latest decision, overturning the council's wise decision to refuse a mast there. No doubt the decision was overturned not on grounds that were of concern to local people, including health, but solely and squarely on appearance.

In the area of Enfield, Southgate, there is no greater concern. If, Tardis-like, I were to transport hon. Members to my constituency office to look across a distance of one mile, nine masts could already be seen; another four applications are pending. If I then moved us to Roundhill drive, as an example of the issues that face us, we could see a mast that has been put up within permitted development rights. It is horrendous—yards from gardens, near a playground and not far from a school. An application has now been made to increase the height of that mast. No doubt that is because the local authority, having taken a concerned view in response to residents' and parents' concerns, intends to move the mast that is now on top of Grange Park school, which puts pressure on the operator to increase coverage in Roundhill drive. The irony is that the new site is near a playground, and thus near children. Children do not only go to school; they live in houses, and go out in gardens. There is great concern about the application.

A few metres along, in Chaseville Park road, a repeated application that has been made for the open area is of great concern to people. They are worried about repeated applications, such as those that my hon. Friends have mentioned.