Why does phone mast have to be near our homes?

June Reeder on the green area which is the planned location for a mobile phone mast in Curlew Gardens, Wecock Farm.'''Pic Mick Young'01/11/2012
June Reeder on the green area which is the planned location for a mobile phone mast in Curlew Gardens, Wecock Farm.'''Pic Mick Young'01/11/2012
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ANGRY estate residents say they will fight plans to put a mobile phone mast outside their homes.

People living close to Eagle Avenue in Wecock believe it’s unfair to move the mast from its present location, in a field where a housing estate is due to be built.

Jean Reeder, 62, has hit out at telecommunications firm EE for putting in an application to Havant Borough Council to put a 50ft mast, disguised as a lamppost, on the corner of Eagle Avenue and Curlew Gardens.

She said: ‘I don’t think it should go there.

‘At the moment the children play there but they won’t if there is a big mast put up.

‘If I’m up in my bedroom I will be able to look across and see it and I don’t like the thought of that.

‘It’s alright where it is because no one notices it. But, because the developers don’t like it, it’s going to be moved to near our houses and it’s not fair.

‘Why should we have to put up with it?

‘If you buy something you buy it as seen.’

Developers Grainger have consulted the community on plans to build 300 homes at Woodcroft Farm, which borders Wecock and Lovedean. An application has not been put in yet.

The current mast is 80ft and looks like a small electricity pylon. The new mast will be slim enough to be disguised as a lamppost. If the mast is not replaced mobile phone users in the area will get poor coverage.

A spokeswoman for EE said: ‘The proposed development is required to provide coverage to part of Waterlooville which will suffer from poor coverage levels once the existing mast at Woodcroft Farm is removed. The existing mast is being removed due to redevelopment plans in the area.

‘The new site was identified as the best option in the area to provide optimal coverage for residents. We have made every effort to minimise impact in the local area, utilising a lamppost design and reducing the amount of equipment needed.

‘We have also consulted with several local stakeholders including councillors, the local school and community board. We have not received any complaints and we are open to working with the community to find the best solution.’

The consultation with residents and local organisations is ongoing.