Abbotsbury Villagers Outcry Over Mobile Phone Mast
11:19am 23rd January 2015
It would completely ruin the view into the village and damage tourism in the area according to campaigners fighting plans to put up a mobile phone mast in Abbotsbury.
West Dorset District Council is currently considering an application to build a mast just 500 meters away from the village centre.
It's part of the government's plans to improve mobile signal across the country.
Resident and campaigner Andrew Green says the proposals just don't make sense.
He told Wessex FM: "There is coverage in Abbotsbury. I could look out my window now and there are a couple of villagers talking on their phones."
"There's a signal in most places in Abbotsbury and the whole point of the plan is to revive coverage where there isn't any but there is coverage here."
"This is the point the council planning office seem unwilling to accept."
Mayling Harber, another village resident is also concerned: “In these times of cutbacks and austerity measures, wasting half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money on a phone mast to make the signal here slightly better cannot be justified! Since the government’s plan is supposedly for economic reasons, the supposed real beneficiaries will be businesses. There are approximately 20 small businesses in Abbotsbury – pubs, tea rooms, B&Bs and small shops - so the taxpayer is effectively providing £25,000 per business so that, for example, customers can talk on their phones while they’re having a cup of tea or buying some fishing tackle!”
Protestors are concerned about lack of publicity given to the application, insufficient consultation with residents, detrimental effects on the landscape in Abbotsbury and effects on the health of both humans and farm animals. Eileen O’Connor, Director of the UK Radiation Research Trust told us: “There is a very significant body of research reinforcing the hypothesis that mobile phone mast emissions are detrimental to health”
West Dorset District Council were unable to provide a response when contacted.