Ban on mobile phone masts on Norwich City Council property set to end after 14 years

New phone masts look set to be permitted on Norwich City Council property and land for the first tim

New phone masts look set to be permitted on Norwich City Council property and land for the first time in 14 years.

A ban on mobile phone masts being placed on land and buildings owned by Norwich City Council looks set to come to an end - after 14 years.

In 2002, amid concerns over the possible impact on health of living close to such masts, councillors agreed a moratorium on their installation on City Hall-owned assets.

However, at a meeting of the Labour-controlled cabinet next week, councillors will be asked to change its policy, which would allow mobile phone companies to pay the authority to have masts on its land and properties.

In papers which will come before councillors, officers say that they have had to turn down approaches from mobile phone companies who want to put base stations on council property - meaning the council has lost out on cash.

Officers said that there had been 'numerous scientific reviews' to establish the health impact of mobile telecommunications equipment and that 'scientific studies have been unable to identify an adverse health impact from the emissions from mobile phone base stations'.

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Officers said emissions from a mobile phone held close to the head was 'typically 10,000 times higher than from a mobile phone mast'.

But, acknowledging that many members of the public still have concerns about the health effects of masts, officers are recommending that, if councillors do decide to remove the moratorium, that applications for masts on council property are subject to controls.

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Those controls include: a 21-day public consultation with people and businesses within 50 metres of the proposed mast; independent checks on the equipment, including an annual radiation safety survey and contracts which make provision to terminate contracts if future government research confirms masts have adverse health effects.

The council currently gets just under £80,000 a year in rent from seven phone masts on council properties, including Normandie Tower, Winchester Tower, Ashbourne Tower and Aylmer Tower, which were installed before the ban.

The Norwich Evening News highlighted the public health concerns over phone masts through our Put Masts On Hold campaign in the 2000s.

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