Labour MP Bill Esterson and Formby Councillor angry as Freshfiel

Nina Killen and some of the residents opposing the phone mast in Freshfield



Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson and Formby Labour Councillor Nina Killen said they are both disappointed that plans to install a phone mast at Freshfield Train Station were given the greenlight last Friday.

Mother of three Cllr Killen, who was only elected as Harington Ward's Labour Councillor earlier this month gave her backing to the residents' campaign to oppose the plans, with MP Bill Esterson raising concerns about the long term health implications of the mast.

But despite this, the Vodafone and Telefonica application for the mast was approved by the planning committee on Friday.

Cllr Killen said she was disappointed for everyone concerned in the campaign and all of the residents who signed a petition opposing the plans.

Cllr Killen said: "This is very disappointing for everyone in Freshfield. There was overwhelming opposition to these plans in this community, but still the Planning Committee appears to have had no way of turning down the planning application.

"The residents' arguments against the plans deserved to be listened to. I and other local councillors made sure that local views were considered.

"People living nearby, are very concerned about the accumulative effect of increased radiation in this community. Not only will there now be radiation being emitted from the high voltage sub-station, as well as the electrified rail lines and existing nearby telecommunications masts, but now there is also increased levels of radiation from the new mast.

"Accumulated levels of radiation are a very real concern for health experts

"Then when you consider that this mast will be just 16m away from the nearest property, a property where there are young children, you realise why people here are concerned. Unfortunately, according to government guidance, such concerns are not part of the planning process.

Cllr Killen added: "It is not something which we wanted, but which is being imposed upon is as a result of central government rules."

Bill Esterson said it was disappointing that government changes to planning regulations made it even more difficult for local councillors to object to unwelcome developments.

Bill said: "I am very concerned that local councils’ hands are being tied because of the changes to the planning rules. There were no planning reasons for the committee to turn down this application and new rules brought in just a few weeks ago make it even harder to stop development of this kind.

"Despite talking about localism, the Tory-Lib Dem government is stopping local communities from being able to stop masts of this kind being erected.

"I have seen some very worrying evidence highlighting potential health risks, especially to children, because of increased levels of radiation and I am demanding the government looks into this further.

"I am going to keep pressing the government on this issue and if the government reveals any new findings I will be pushing for a comprehensive review of the issue of phone masts throughout the country."