A CAMPAIGN has been launched to stop a 57ft mobile phone mast, base station, six antennas and associated equipment from being built on the footpath outside Longbridge Methodist Church.
The controversial proposal has been put forward by Vodafone Ltd and residents who want to voice their concerns about the plan have until March 12 to have their say with Birmingham City Council.
Members of the church have launched a petition which already has 100 names on it. That can be signed at the Coffee Pot cafe at the Methodist Church. It is due to be handed into the council on Tuesday (March 3) by Coun Andy Cartwright who has also been campaigning with the residents.
Church treasurer Philip Osborn said: “We are not opposed to the use of mobile phones, but this proposal is ridiculous.
“It’s going to be unsightly, being outside the church, both for us looking outwards and those looking inwards.
“It will also be dangerous because of the obstruction it will cause – both on the footpath where our children and parents have to walk with pushchairs and for drivers trying to get a view of traffic coming and going from the church car park.”
He added some people were also concerned about the emissions and health implications, although admitted fears over that had been allayed by the company which claimed there was no evidence to suggest there was any danger from mobile masts.
And he said there were far better sites in the area the mobile operator could use.
Coun Cartwright said: “It’s right what the residents are saying and the company should take that into account.
“They are not against the mast being put up, just why it has to be outside the church.
“With all this development going on in Longbridge, surely there’s somewhere more suitable for it.”
The application comes two years after a similar one by Vodafone for the same site, but on that occasion it was only a 12.5-metre high mast.
A Vodafone spokesperson said: “Vodafone and Telefonica customers expect to be able to use their mobiles and devices where they live, work and travel.
“Base stations are low powered devices which cover approximately half a mile in radius, therefore we have to put base stations close to our customers.
“We have identified that we need to improve the coverage to our customers in Rednal and have submitted a planning application to install telecommunications equipment at Bristol Road South.”
She confirmed it was an amendment to an existing permission to increase the pole from 12.5m to 17.5m and added all Vodafone and Telefonica base stations operated well within guideline safety limits.
“Below these guidelines there is no evidence of adverse health effects for any members of the public,” she said.
Anyone wanting more information on the campaign and how to get involved should call Philip Osborn on 0121 453 7294.
Those wanting more on the application or to have their say on the proposal should log onto the planning section of www.birmingham.gov.uk and type it the application number – 2015/01159/PA.