|Protestors gathered outside St. Matthias Church, which|
hosts Scallywags Toddlers Club, to show their opposition
to the mast.
Nancy Baldwin, who has run the Scallywags Toddlers Club for more than 20 years, said health concerns must be considered by Richmond Council's planning committee. "The children in my care are between the ages of one and three, the group identified by virtually all scientific papers as the most vulnerable group where radio waves and the positioning of mobile masts are concerned."
Tom Ambrose, Reporter - Richmond + Twickenham / Tuesday 26 January 2016
A 12.5m telephone mast would "stick out like a sore thumb" if it is erected in Richmond as proposed, according to opponents.
Communications giant Vodafone has submitted a planning application to install the mast in Church Road, claiming it would be "disguised" as a telegraph pole.
Protestors gathered outside St Matthias Church, which hosts Scallywags Toddlers Club, to show their opposition to the mast.
Nancy Baldwin, who has run the children’s group for more than 20 years, said health concerns must be considered by Richmond Council's planning committee.
She said: "The children in my care are between the ages of one and three, the group identified by virtually all scientific papers as the most vulnerable group where radio waves and the positioning of mobile masts are concerned.
"Whilst I understand that health reasons cannot be a ground upon which to refuse permission, it has been Richmond Council’s past policy to take these concerns into account."
Paul Hammond, who lives in Paradise Road, said the mast would "completely dominated the area".
He said: "It will completely dominate the area for all the wrong reasons - it will stick out like a sore thumb.
"The location could hardly be more insensitive.
"Masts should be in fields, away from people."
Laura Rich Jones, who lives in Mount Ararat Road, said: "The proposed site is on a small green, a valuable little open space with public bench, adjacent to the bus stop.
"This area is frequently used by local school children, young parents with babies, so as well as being visually intrusive, it would result in poor pedestrian safety, not to mention potential health hazards."
The proposed site is in the St Matthias Church conservation area, with nearby buildings listed as buildings of townscape merit.
However, some residents have pledged their support to Vodafone's plans, citing a need for stronger cellular coverage.
Peter Brown said: "Councillors are elected to make the difficult decisions and on balance, I believe firmly that they should resist negative lobbying and approve this necessary piece of network infrastructure."
Adam Southall, who lives in Richmond Hill Court, wrote: "I have no objection to this mast and believe that as long as it is sympathetically installed and camouflaged it will be an asset to the local community."
The council's website says a decision is due on the mast on February 2.
The planning application number is 15/5312/TEL and has, so far, received more than 150 objections from residents.
Mast in Barnes also causing anger
Vodafone have submitted similar applications for phone masts in Barnes.
It plans to construct one of them at the junction of Everdon Road and Barnes Avenue, while another will be based in Castelnau.
Both applications have already received an overwhelming number of objections from residents.
They are both viewable on the Richmond Council website, under the reference codes 15/5259/TEL and 15/5385/MOB.
Decisions are due on February 4 and February 11 respectively.