Concern at phone mast leads to independent survey

ALLIANCE Councillor Sara Duncan has welcomed news that Orange is to hold an independent radio survey of the Orange phone mast on the roof of Belvoir House in the Belvoir estate.

The Orange mast on top of Belvoir House, a tall block of flats in Belvoir Park estate, has been causing concern to residents who live under it. Last September Orange, which has a contract with the Housing Executive, replaced old equipment and this exacerbated the fears of the residents.

Cllr Duncan has now received a letter from Orange, saying they are happy to commission an independent survey by Queen’s University engineers. Residents will be able to choose the locations for radio signal measurements themselves.

Councillor Duncan said: “Like the people who live in Belvoir House, I too have fears about emissions from masts, especially when they are erected in densely populated housing areas. Often, the views of the people who will have to live with the consequences of the installation are not taken seriously. Base stations for 3rd generation mobiles are more powerful than existing base stations.

“I welcome the independent monitoring both of flats in Belvoir House and, as emissions spread out in waves from masts, neighbouring properties likely to be affected. I intend to leaflet the residents to give them information on what is happening, and anyone who is concerned can contact me at 9070 1067.

“Castlereagh Borough Council has unanimously opposed many masts sited near residents home, but Planners have still given planning permission. I hope the independent survey reassures residents.

“Australia has a safety zone of 500 metres, and Russia 2000 metres. Why cannot citizens of Northern Ireland also have similar regulations?”

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