Cell tower concerns

Alf Hutchison, Parklands North

I refer to the article posted by Karen Davis, chairperson of the Greater Table View Action Forum (“Cell tower objection,” Tabletalk, May 16).

What is it exactly that the residents are upset about? Will it mar the beauty of lower Grey Avenue? Or are they afraid of radiation? What exactly is the gripe about?

I find it in the very poorest taste for a sarcastic and somewhat insidious question to be asked by someone who chairs such a prestigious forum, and I quote: “Are they so desperate for money that they have no concerns for the residents living around their church…Do they think God would approve of these methods, as clearly the church believes that He needs a Telkom base station to reach His followers.”

Ms Davis responds: Firstly, allow me to apologise for the seemingly sarcastic comment that I made, in anger and frustration, admittedly.

But there seems to be some duplicity and complicity with regards to these kinds of applications. I certainly did not intend any blasphemy.

A meeting was held with the pastor of this church, and he really did not seem too clued up as to what he was allowing in the first place.

As the residents in close proximity to this proposal, we have a number of concerns.

First and foremost, there has not been enough research done on the harmful effects of living in and around these installations.

In fact, most of the research was very inconclusive. There are many papers showing possible links to cancer, and now increasing incidents of attention-deficit disorder, Alzheimer’s and diabetes from cellphone radiation have also been documented.

This church is also home to a crèche, right next door to a retirement village and a stone’s throw from Table View High School — the mast has no business being erected close to these vulnerable groups as it could potentially cause harm to them down the line.

Just like asbestos was always thought to be safe and widely used until it was proven not to be, why should we wait 10 or 20 years to have the effects of this to be felt?

Many residents have hypersensitivity to these radiation emissions too and have already lowered immune systems, so placing this tower smack bang in the middle of our suburb is courting disaster.

A further gripe is the fact that it is shown to affect the value of one’s property by a substantial amount.

The initial application was for consent to erect a base station on the church grounds, also requesting a relaxation of the boundary, which would have meant encroaching onto a private property.

This application was refused based on the objections, but the second application to rezone from SR1 to CO1 was granted.

This means that they can put up one of these masts on the roof of the church without any consent from residents or council. Surely this cannot be allowed?

I would like to ask you one question, Mr Hutchison. If it was on a property close to you, would you not have reservations too?

I will also ask you to please take note and photograph any bird that sits or nests on any of these structures.

It would seem that the animal kingdom is certainly more intelligent than humans when it comes to what is dangerous or not.

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