Mobile mast planned for Hawkenbury Rec
The Hawkenbury Village Association had reports of a meeting, being held in the Hawkenbury Recreation Ground, regarding erecting a mobile mast. A company, interested in erecting the mobile mast in the Recreation Ground, were meeting with council officials to discuss the feasibility. Initial thoughts were to add the mobile mast to one of the existing lighting structures. As these need to be lowered on occasion, to change the bulbs, it was deemed unsuitable.
If the plans go ahead, a new structure to house the mobile mast will be erected between 2 light posts on the far side of the all weather pitch. This is the Napier Road side, where the proposed pump track is to be located. There is much debate around the impact that these masts have, when they are located in an area.
The Hawkenbury Village Association chair, Dean Kenward, wrote to Peter Every, Head of TWBC Parks, and asked about the meeting and whether the council intended to erect a mobile mast. The following response was received:
I can confirm TWBC have been approached by a company who wish to install a mast between two of the floodlight columns. The proposal was to erect the equipment on the existing columns but I feel this would compromise the maintenance of the floodlights which as your aware can be lowered.
The meeting was an initial scoping meeting and any installation would be subject to planning consent and consultation with both yourselves and ward members. At this stage no decision has been made to support this project but any decision to proceed would sit with senior managers and our Estates team.
If the proposal goes any further you will of course be consulted.
The first issue to consider is health. The general consensus seems to be that they are safe, yet there is still not enough data to support this. Mobile phones have been around for a relatively short period of time and the density of cover is ever increasing. We won’t know what the potential damage may be, until it is too late. The advice seems to be to keep the mast at least 300m away from homes.
The second issue is property values. Potential buyers of any home will be wary of a mobile mast in their back garden and we may see a significant drop in value to house prices, should the mast be built. Whether or not there are health risks, potential buyers will be put off buying a house.
Whilst we all want better mobile coverage as we go about our day, the HVA does not feel that this is the right location for a mobile mast. If one is needed, why not position it further away from a residential and recreational area.
The Hawkenbury Village Association will continue to monitor the situation and advise it’s members of any changes to the current situation. Please remember to sign up to ensure you get email updates.