Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Letter on mobile phone masts


Dear Editor,

I was recently one of five hundred households to receive a letter from Croydon Council advising me of plans to erect a mobile phone mast outside Boulogne Road Recreation Ground. Despite an OFCOM report advising a precautionary approach to mobile phone masts around schools, the mobile phone operators have chosen a spot outside one nursery and across the road from another.

When I lodged an objection via the online planning portal I noticed that only four other objections had been registered. Yet when chatting with neighbours I became acutely aware that many people were very unhappy about this situation. Work commitments meant that I had limited time, nevertheless I notified your paper, organised a demo and collected signatures for a petition. However, a few days later I was dismayed to receive a letter saying that the application had been approved.

It is clear to me that if we had collected a thousand signatures we could have applied enough pressure on the council to throw out this application and ask the mobile phone operators to find an alternative location.

The area around Boulogne Road is not a hotbed of community activism: there is no active residents association on the scale of Spring Park, for example, and people around here seem to feel powerless. Hence, it is incumbent on Selhurst’s Labour councillors, who are paid to represent us, to ensure our views are not ignored. They would have known about this planning application but they did nothing - hardly surprising since they have been elected in a safe Labour ward and hence have a job for life. They can depend on habitual Labour voters to re-elect them regardless.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan

Croydon Green Party

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Standing up for what matters