Residents unhappy with 15m high telephone mast project

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RESIDENTS try to stop a 15m high 5G telephone mast erected outside their homes.

CK Hutchison Networks has applied to the South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, for permission to install the mast on the roadway outside Swiss Farm in Marlow Road, Henley.

Company says it’s building UK’s fastest
5G network but this requires “quite different” equipment and antennas.

He says the pole design would minimize the visual impact on the street scene by “integrating with existing street furniture”.

But residents of Marlow Road say the mast would be an eyesore and fear it could affect their health.

Joseph Borlase, general manager of Swiss Farm Holiday Park, said the mast would ‘spin’ over his parents’ house about 20 yards from the proposed location and ‘spoil’ Henley’s approach. for drivers coming from Marlow.

He said: “It could be seen from all over Swiss Farm, which is a beautiful tourist spot and is home to hundreds of people.

“The way I heard about it was from some activists who sent a letter to my door.

“At first I didn’t think much about it because I thought, ‘This will be a little antenna set up nearby,’ but I went to the council planning portal and was horrified.

“It overlooks everything and it is close to the farm. It’s close to my house, my parents’ house, my sister’s house and the holiday park. My parents are distraught. My mom has thought about moving because she is upset.

Mr Borlase, who has run Swiss Farm since 1997, also expressed concern about the “unknown effects” of the mast.

“I wonder about the health risks of this one,” he said. “There’s no history on the app, so it could release radiation anywhere – it’s fear of the unknown.

“I don’t want to stand in the way of progress, but without them specifying what it’s going to accomplish, I just don’t know. There was no consideration for people.

His parents, Stephen and Karin Borlase, say they oppose the mast “in the strongest terms”.

In a letter to this week Henley Standard, the couple said: “We had neither notice nor the courtesy of a consultation.

“If it hadn’t been for the fact that we were in an area of ​​outstanding natural beauty, so the application requires a building permit, we would not have known anything about it until it didn’t appear to be invited. to eclipse our lives.

“Besides the questionable health risks associated with these facilities for all who live in their shadow, it would be a constant horror, not only to anyone entering or leaving the city along our tree-lined road, but also to all the inhabitants of Swiss Farm Park. homes and the thousands of tourists we welcome every year from all parts of the world. It would be visible from every corner of our beautiful campgrounds.

“The evidence for the safety of these masts is far from conclusive. Many people choose not to question it, but our research has shown us that we should be concerned.

“This mast would dominate the nine dwellings almost directly below and part of the 87 dwellings on the residential site.

“Many people sensitive to electromagnetic waves have reported, among many other health problems, continuous buzzing that can seriously interrupt sleep. We have to ask ourselves why should such intrusive and controversial technological equipment be placed in such a visible and inappropriate location?

“We expected a much-needed crosswalk to be placed near our busy entrance shortly, not this monstrosity.”

Residents spoke out against the request at a meeting of the Henley City Council planning committee, which recommended that it be denied.

Louise Pearson, of Marlow Road, said: “Why put it so close to the houses when there are two big rugby fields and two huge fields next to the river across the road?

David Palmer, who lives at Swiss Farm, said: “Even at my age I am all for new technological knowledge, the effects on public health are still millions of kilometers away and before these facilities are placed. near people’s homes, more should be done. on the health safety aspect.

“If we are to have a mast, there is a lot of open space in the area away from the houses where it could be installed, but there is no doubt that the big companies will get what they want despite any valid objection.”

Michael Carver, of Wargrave Road, said: “Consider that a 15m mast is totally unsuitable in such close proximity to dwellings. Aesthetically, the mast would be an eyesore so close to Henley. This should be placed in an area less close to the accommodation.

CK Hutchison Networks said other areas have been considered. Henley Road in Marlow has been reduced due to proximity to Grade II listed buildings and Fair Mile in Henley has been reduced due to residential amenity issues.

The city council is due to vote next Thursday.


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