May 16 2012 EXCLUSIVE by Joe McGuire
Viper Image 1
WEST end residents are up in arms at plans to put a phone mast on a listed building in a conservation area.
Cornerstone, who erect masts for O2 and Vodafone, are carrying out a pre-planning application consultation over the installation of four phone masts on the roof of the Viper nightclub.
Locals saying the masts, which would be concealed in a 18ft flagpole, would ruin “an architectural treasure” and are also concerned about health risks.
West End resident Eric Kay, 61, said: “This is a beautiful building and this latest proposal for a phone mast will spoil the eyeline of a picturesque area.
“I realise people need to have mobile phone coverage but this just smacks of trying to make a quick buck.”
Critics say that the plan does not meet council guidance.
There are also fears the mast will affect bats, insects and birds.
Green councillor Martha Wardrop said: “The flagpole is not at all in keeping with the area and will detract from it.
“The proposed antennae will also have an adverse effect on health of the local population, including loss of memory, concentration and digestive system and sleep disturbances.”
G1 said they were reviewing whether to give Mono Consultants, who act for Cornerstone, the go-ahead for the mast.
A spokesman said: “We agreed to a public consultation but have not given approval for the plans to continue to the planning stage.”
Cornerstone media manager Rob Matthews said there was increased demand for data services in the west end.
He added: “After an extensive search, we concluded the most appropriate place to site a mast is on the roof of the Viper.
“There are very few options that meet our coverage demands while ensuring our site blends in with the surroundings.
“There is no convincing evidence that RF field exposures below guideline levels cause health effects in adults or children.”