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TORIES ANNOUNCE NEW PLANS TO STOP 'MONSTER MASTS'

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Shadow environment secretary Archie Norman has unveiled new Conservative policies on mobile phone masts. ...
Shadow environment secretary Archie Norman has unveiled new Conservative policies on mobile phone masts.

The policies form part of a new 'Blue Green' emphasis on the environment from the Conservative Party. He said:

'All over Britain, there is a proliferation of mobile phone masts which are often ugly, poorly-sited and are causing considerable concerns over safety amongst local residents. With the next generation of mobile phones, there could be another 100,000 masts on the horizon.

'Scientific evidence of what distance constitutes a 'safe' distance from phone masts is inconclusive. It is common sense that local communities should be allow a wider 'exclusion zone' in sensitive areas until there is more reliable evidence. Other countries have taken precautionary steps against masts; Conservatives believe that local communities in Britain should be in a position do the same.

'As a result, we are announcing today a series of proposals to give local communities a greater say over the location of masts. Conservatives pledge to empower communities giving local residents a greater voice to stop 'monster masts'. Hospitals, schools and houses will receive greater protection against the invasion of unwanted masts.'

Damian Green MP, Conservative frontbench spokesman on the environment,

added:

'Labour have failed to deliver on its promise of being the 'greenest

government ever'. The Conservative Party now intends to seize the

environmental agenda. We will use 'blue green' common sense solutions to environmental problems. Today's announcement is part of a new, ongoing campaign to protect the environment without crippling Britain's economy through new taxes and unnecessary regulation.'

Notes

- Across all parties, MPs have been calling for action on masts; an EDM has been signed by 168 MPs, yet the government have done nothing.

- Ampthill Against Aerials, a campaign group, have fully endorsed our policy.

- Council for the Protection of Rural England also endorse our policy - 'CPRE welcomes moves to enable local councils to address community concerns about the intrusive impact of telecommunications masts in the countryside, through tighter planning safeguards and a more responsive policy framework.'

The seven key proposals announced today are:

1. Planning guidance policy should be redrafted to take environmental and safety concerns into account.

2. Local communities should have a greater say on mast developments in or near areas of environmental importance.

3. Local communities should be allowed to question mast developments near schools, hospitals and residential buildings.

4. Local authorities must be better informed about all future mast

developments to encourage coordinated development.

5. We will ensure mobile phone operators share masts to reduce demand for new masts.

6. We will investigate the viability of cross-network roaming within the United Kingdom, reducing demand for new masts in sparsely populated areas.

7. We will issue new guidelines over what is an acceptable means for

blending masts into the local environment.

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