Welsh town kicks out O2

Many people are concerned about living near a mobile phone mast or base station, fearing ill health

It seems mobile operator O2 don't know when it's not welcome - it turned up to build a mast in a small Welsh town despite not having permission to do so, it was reported yesterday.

When O2 put in a request to build a mast on Lodge Road in Caerleon, Newport, residents lobbied their local council to have the planning permission for the mast revoked.

According to the South Wales Argus , up to ten residents stayed on the mast's proposed site every day this week to stop it being built. Residents claimed O2 has agreed to meet them to discuss their concerns on 12 April.

Tech.co.uk spoke to O2's community liaison manager for Wales, Angela Johnson. While unsure about the exact reasons why the residents don't want the mast, she is confident a middle-ground can be met describing the residents as "polite and very pleasant".

"I'm sure there is worry about health concerns, there usually is. But I think it's more to do with aesthetics," says Johnson. "When we have our meeting on 12 April, I understand we're going to look at other sites they've identified. But I'll have to take those back to the radio planner and see what can work.

"We have planning consent for that mast. The things is, it's really is where we need coverage and capacity. It fits in and enhances our existing network."

Last month, a study commissioned by the Irish government found living near a mobile phone mast or base station caused no adverse effect on human health, but warned more study was needed.