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Ruane opposes Hilltown phone mast

26 April, 2007

South Down Sinn Féin Assembly Member Caitríona Ruane has written to Planning Service objecting to a proposal to erect a phone mast on the Rostrevor Road, Hilltown.

Ms Ruane has said she has been inundated with calls from local residents who have raised serious concerns about the suitability of the site for a phone mast. "Many people," she continued, "are perplexed at the decision to grant planning permission, particularly as the mast will be located less than 200 metres from peoples' homes in what is also an area of outstanding natural beauty.

"It is my strongly held view that the erection of a 15 metre high timber monopole housing 3 DBDP antenna will contravene the precautionary approach policy of Newry and Mourne Council and Planning Service need to reconsider their decision.

"A recent Sunday Time's article on phone masts highlighted high clusters of cancers where base stations are located near to residential areas in Colehill, England. No fewer than seven members of a 30 strong staff of Woodlands special school had developed tumours and most local people living in the Warwickshire town attributed the high incidence of cancer to mobile phone masts.

"One thing is for certain - the long term effects of phone masts on the population are still very difficult to quantify and there are genuine concerns that low level radiation may be extremely damaging to peoples' health. Erecting a phone mast so close to homes in the Rostrevor Road in Hilltown is unacceptable and Planning Service cannot allow phone companies to play Russian Roulette with peoples' health." ENDS

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