Thursday, May 23, 2024

Chadwell phone mast application rejected

PLANS to site a phone mast next to a busy main road in Thurrock have been rejected by Borough planning councillors.

At Thursday’s planning committee meeting the application for a 12.5m mast in Chadwell St Mary to carry antennas for O2 and Vodafone didn’t get a good reception from councillors, who responded to a 250 signature petition and objection from residents by refusing ‘prior approval’.

They heard the plan was to install the mast and an equipment box on land adjacent to the Emmanuel Church, Sleepers Farm Road.

However, it sent the wrong signals to local man Peter Saunders, who addressed the meeting on behalf of Chadwell St Mary Parochial Church Council

He said: “We oppose this not just because of the effect on the church but also because it is right in front of the windows of the homes in Handley House where residents will find the mast slap bang in the middle of their view.

“We also question the impact it will have on the access of emergency vehicles to Handley House and on existing underground cabling.

“And that is leaving aside any health issues, which apparently do not exist.”

Local councillor Barbara Rice, also spoke up against the plan, saying: “This is not in keeping with the surrounding street scene. And we currently have problems with the nearby Virgin Media mast which is being vandalised and this might attract more.

“This is an unsightly eyesore and by approving it the Council might be leaving themselves wide open to litigation by granting permission to something when evidence is starting to emerge that there could be serious health issues.

“Other countries and councils have adopted prudent avoidance of siting these masts nears schools and communities.

“The residents of Chadwell St Mary are not prepared to have this mast situated in their neighbourhood.”

The emotive rhetoric influenced committee members to reject the application, despite a recommendation for approval from their officers.

Cllr Steve Liddiard issued a note of caution, saying: “If we keep turning these down we will be seen as a Borough that isn’t interested in technology.”

Cllr Gerard Rice was less worried about implications, saying: “This is a busy road and there is a risk associated with it. The people behind this have not thought it through.”

Committee chairman Terry Hipsey was also concerned about the impact on trees close to the site of the mast, fearing their roots would be disturbed and saying: “I wouldn’t want to put the health of a healthy tree at risk. I don’t think this is an appropriate site.”


  1. How hypocritical of councillors to say mobile phone masts are a potential health risk to residents therefore cant be sited near homes and if they do the council will open themselves up to litigation.

    These same councillors have no problems with mobile phone equipment installed on top of most council owned residential tower blocks around the borough.

    If these masts are such a health risk and there is a risk of litigation then the council should immediately move the equipment away from all those council tenants who live directly underneath these so called dangerous masts.

    Using the logic of most councillors there must be hundredsof council tenants and their families living directly underneath mobile phone equipment that could cause dangerous health problems.

    I wonder is anyone has done a FOI about the number of council owned buildings that have mobile phone masts and equipment installed on them, the locations of these buildings and how much income the council receives for allowing this equipment to be sited on these buildings.

    Perhaps money is more important than the council tenants health?

    Perhaps one of those councillors who claim there is a health risk from mobile phone masts would like to launch a campaign to have them removed from council buildings?

    Is that the sound of silence I hear?

  2. It is time for a full scientific report to be put to Thurrockl Council planning regarding masts / receivers and on ward transmitters. I share the concerns of residents over health issues but I also am aware of the poor reception mobile technology has in the Borough. Surely, if the safety issue is dealt with a suitable covering could be made for masts / reception houses? Ideas, everyone? Mock scenes from History! Luddites – Nottingham in 1811.

  3. I wonder on what grounds it was rejected….

    Health & Safety is not a valid reason
    It won’t be too near to schools as, it was recommended for approval by officers
    It must have been on public land

    Oh, I know the answer…. Safe Labour seats, that’s the reason….. Don’t want to upset the Labour voters…

  4. As well as mobile phone masts being stuck to the top of council owned tower blocks there is at least one school in the borough that has mobile phone masts stuck to the top of its water tower.

    So while every mobile phone mast application has councillors from all parties warning of the health risks to residetns as a reason not to allow them being sited they ignore the hundreds of families living underneath the very same masts in council tower blocks and the hundreds of children who are taught in at least one school in the borough where there are mobile phone masts strapped around the schools water tower.

    Perhaps YourThurrock should pop down to Hassenbrook School and ask the Headteacher and Councillor in charge of Education what all those ariels atop the schools water tower are?

    I wonder if there are any other schools in the borough that have allowed mobile phone masts into there school grounds?

    If these councillors claim these masts are a health risk then why do they allow masts on tower blocks and in the grounds of one of the boroughs schools? Perhaps its the money from the mobile phone companies who pay to rent the space that talks?

    Next time a councillor claims health risks as a reason to stop a phone mast getting a planning application ask them what they are doing to protect council tenants and children at Hassenbrooks from the very same health risks?

  5. There is no scientific proof that mobile phone masts do carry health riks, infact if these mast are as bad as these councillors believe I certainly hope that they have now thrown away their own mobile phones as these would be more harmful than the masts.

    I agree with Dave Peterson, it does appear to be a case of NIMBY’s when you constantly see these masts on both tower blocks and other public buildings..

  6. Maybe better siting is required here… using common sense not so far away in a farmers field rather than slap bang in the middle of a residential area! Or, should i suggest, placement on top of the chadwell flats be a suitable location – would have far better coverage up there! Ive worked in telecoms for a good number of years and thus far there have been no conclusive evidence that such masts casue cancer or any other health issue. There are many household devices that transmit in the GHz range as well as mobile phones, microwave ovens & sky tv – if using this band was a health issue it would have been prevented years ago! We do need these masts we just need to think about their siting some more!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


More articles