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Crag News

For Information about FAC Action Against Another Mast Please Click HERE


Cavehill Bowling And Lawn Tennis Tennis and Club Ignores Residents Concerns

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Letter to Planning Department

Letter to Graham Hogg (Chairman of Cavehill Bowling and Tennis Club).

If you dont act soon it will happen overnight (yes, literally overnight - these masts are often erected overnight to avoid people trying to stop their construction). The whole process of erection of mobile phone masts is a very rapid process - from a "notification of intent" message in the newspaper to the construction and operation of the mast can be only a matter of weeks. The planning service must provide a decision within 21-42 days (depending on the mast location - free standing or attached to an existing structure).

Recently small proportion of the cavehill Tennis and Bowling club shareholders were involved in a vote to determine if they should proceed with a planning application for a Mobile Mast with Hutchinson 3G. The shareholders voted in favour of installing the mast by a margin of 36 to 4 (note that there are alot more than 40 shareholders in the club). It's obvious to most people in the area that the vast majority of people oppose this application and I'm sure this would also apply to the club members many of which were not even informed let alone given a say in the matter. CRAG met with the Club but they ignored our concerns and have proceeded with the planning application for a mast.

radio hazard

There are many reasons why club members and local residents would wish to resist this development

Main Grounds for appeal appear to the planning authorities appear to be -

Focus on the Applicant and The Planning Service.

However its often the case that these planning applications are approved and the best plan of attack for those concerned is to put pressure on the club to withdraw their application.
This tactic has already been sucessful with a mast application for the Lansdowne Hotel. In this case the application was withdrawn when the applicant was made aware of the strenght of local feeling.

House Prices

We have already spoken to local estate agents who have confirmed our concerns that such a mast will have a detrimental effect on house prices. There is already a precedent for this - a buyer withdrew from a pending sale on Parkmount road when they heard that a mast was to be erected in land adjacent to the house. The vendor then had to drop the house price to get a sale.

Will anyone want to buy our house ?

What if the antennae plan is approved but at some later date research proves such installations hazardous but allowable. Surrounding properties would become un-marketable either because of people’s fears or because mortgages would not be given due to the danger, e.g. as is the case with overhead electricity grid lines.


Public Heath

Biological effects that result from heating of tissue by RF energy are often referred to as "thermal" effects. The current safety standards only limit transmitted power to levels below that which would cause heating. These standards only came into effect 50 years after the problem first became apparent – 2nd World War RADAR crews suffered cataracts and tumours. At relatively low levels of exposure to RF radiation, i.e., field intensities lower than those that would produce significant and measurable heating, the possibility of "non-thermal" biological effects exists. Whether or not such effects might indicate a human health hazard is not presently known. Further research is ongoing, in the meantime, standards-setting organizations and government agencies continue to monitor the latest experimental findings to confirm their validity and determine whether alterations in safety limits are needed in order to protect human health.

Planning authorities should be guided by the fact that European Union Treaties advocated the Precautionary Principle (1993 Maastricht) to safeguard the public's health. Governments are not there to be led by the Industry in pursuit of progress and financial gain at the expense of the public at large. Governments are there to be able to interpret properly scientific guidance or advice.

In this country mobile phone masts have now been banned from school sites. The Education Secretary (UK) has told schools to limit mobile phone use by children (up to 16 years old) and to make sure that mobile phone masts nearby do not send a "beam of greatest intensity" across their land. Children live in the houses around the church, spending many more hours here than at school and therefore need more protection.

This proliferation of Network Masts may turn out to be the next BSE for ignoring the warnings and acting without any common sense or prudent avoidance. What does prudent avoidance, preventative action, precautionary approach mean in practice? No-one wants to prevent the advance of telecommunications. However, common sense needs to prevail over the economics of the Industry’s proliferation. There is no need these days to place Telecommunications Masts and Base Stations too close to permanently occupied residences and children’s schools. The only reason that Masts are placed too close is because it is cheaper.

There is insufficient scientific evidence to determine conclusively whether the radiation from these base stations could be harmful or not to human health…Given the uncertainty surrounding the issue I believe that the subsequent worry and stress caused by the siting of a mast near our homes not only affects our “peaceful enjoyment” of our possessions (Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the Human Rights Act) but in itself could be detrimental to our health

We are sure the installation would meet current health regulations – our concern is that it is not yet proved that these regulations are adequate. Already other countries are starting to introduce more stringent regulations. Is Belfast City Council prepared to face future recriminations for their failure to safeguard the public's health.



We would urge anyone to read the The Stewart Report that can be found at http://www.iegmp.org.uk/
There is a summary at http://www.iegmp.org.uk/IEGMPsum.htm
There are umpteen other reports.... if you search on an internet search engine.

There as a very useful reference site http://www.mastaction.org/ which gives plenty of advice on how to object to this application.

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FAC MEMO on the Mobile masts - click here.
Sample letters of complaint to the Planning  Office - click here

  Jill House Appeal Rejected

The developer whose planning application for a Hot Food Bar  (Dominos Pizza)  at Jill House made an appeal to the Planning Appeals Comission .     The planning reference is 2000/A276. The planning appeal has been rejected. This is a victory for CRAG. For full details of the decision please look on the appeal decisions page here (at the time of writing the decision has not made it to the PAC web pages).


  Mobile Phone Masts
Two new applications for Mobile Phone masts/antennae have recently been made for two sites in the area. BT Cellnet have applied for a mast in the grounds of the Landsdowne Court Hotel. BT Cellnet have also applied for a 10m Monopole Antenna at 669 Antrim Road. Fortilliam action group are organising objections to these masts and can be contacted via email at   fortwilliamaction@hotmail.com

To Read the FAC press release click here