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Back in October The National Assembly for Wales accepted by a unanimous vote (41 to 0) the principle of full planning for phone masts, leaving England isolated as the only part of the UK where full planning for phone masts will not be required. We have heard that attempts are being made to block this unanimous vote, so the legislation may yet not go through.
 
One of the main submissions made to the Welsh Assembly was by Barry Trower, a scientist who has been involved in microwave research since the Sixties. This is a good summary of the state of research from just a couple of months ago and follows below.

Petition the Prime Minister to acknowledge the many peer reviewed studies that show adverse health effects from exposure to microwave radiation. 

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/PhoneMasts/

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to acknowledge the many peer reviewed studies that show adverse health effects from exposure to microwave radiation from mobile phone handsets, base stations (masts) and wireless technology (WiFi, WIMAX, Tetra, DECT phones, etc.) through mechanisms independent of heating, and at levels much lower than currently considered safe by the government, and that there is no research or evidence which has proved their short or long term safety. We further call on the government to put safeguards in place, that acknowledge this evidence, to ensure that no person will be harmed due to exposure to this radiation, and to remove all mobile phone base stations (masts) that are within 500 metres of schools, homes and hospitals until these safeguards are in place.

Submitted by Simon Densley of Mast Sanity

You might have widely read the story in the Press that "A long-term study, carried out by the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Denmark and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, has found no increased incidence of cancer among mobile phone users."

However, if you delve a little bit deeper you will find that all is not quite as it seems.

That was the message to Residents up and down the UK from Mast Sanity yesterday as Mobile Phone Operators (MPOs) resort to increasingly desperate and dubious means to erect their Mobile Phone Masts as part of the nationwide 3G roll-out prior to OFCOM’s audit in 2007. 

The latest ploy being used is a variation on the infamous 56 day Time Limit. (The 56 day Time Limit allows MPOs to erect masts that are under 15m in height, if a Local Planning Authority (LPA) doesn’t notify them by the 56 day time limit to say that they can’t put the mast up.) 

In the latest ploy, the date for the acceptance of a Mobile Telephone Mast Application is being disputed. By using an earlier date than that accepted by the LPA, the MPO's Agent claim that the 56 day Time Limit has been exceeded. Consequently, notification letters sent out in good time within the 56 day Time Limit are treated as being outside the time limit. If the LPA doesn't defend their time scale the MPO may, with no outright permission, put up the mast claiming to have Permitted Development Rights. 

Armed with a slewed interpretation of the Planning process Agents have already convinced at least one Council to allow a mast to be built :- 

Residents in Woking in Surrey woke up on the morning of Tuesday 7th November to find that a 9.7m mast had been erected outside their houses by T-Mobile – completely without warning. It transpired that the LPA – Woking Borough Council - had been aware of the problem for roughly 4 months but had not informed local residents (including any who had objected to the Application) and had given the MPO the OK to erect the mast. The LPA had been rather quick to accept the operator's argument and made no attempt to defend their position on the date in question. Residents are currently receiving legal advice. 

The problem of the 56-day Time Limit has been around for over 5 years. Mast Sanity have repeatedly told the Government about this, even face to face, yet nothing has been done to tighten up the loophole in Planning legislation. 

It is extremely disappointing and completely unacceptable that Residents are still being put in this situation after so many years.