Vintage Kingston: Parents' anger over Chessington phone mast plans

Vintage Kingston: Parents' anger over Chessington phone mast plans

Vintage Kingston: Parents' anger over Chessington phone mast plans

First published in News

From June 30, 2004

Parents in Chessington were left furious after discovering a mobile phone company wanted to erect a phone mast just 500m away from their children’s school.

Families at Lovelace Primary School wrote angry letters and sent petitions to phone firm Orange after finding out about the company’s plans through the school newsletter.

Orange wanted to install the mast on a roundabout at the intersection of Leatherhead Road, Hook Road, Mansfield Road and Bridge Road, although the company had not yet submitted a planning application to Kingston Council.

Most parents were worried about the impact the mast would have on their children’s health, at a time when radio waves emitted from phone masts were being linked to cancer.

Other residents living close to the proposed mast site feared their house prices would plummet if it was built.

Lovelace headteacher Tim Rome said: “The newsletter was the first many parents had heard about it, so they are unhappy about not being notified and about the mast itself.”

Some parents suggested the mast could be built elsewhere in Chessington, citing several green spaces, particularly near Chessington World of Adventures.

An Orange spokesman said the masts were designed to be low power, roughly 80 watts, which was why it needed to be built close to homes or else it would not work.

He said the company would wait until all responses from the consultation were received before making a decision on whether or not to proceed with the plans.

50 YEARS AGO

June 27, 1964 Malden Council proposed to give five men the freedom of the borough. A special meeting was due to be held in July to confer the honour on town clerk Howard E Barrett and Aldermen Harry Arbon-Collins, John H Cocks, Cyril H Johnson and John E West, in “recognition of the eminent services they have rendered”.

25 YEARS AGO

June 30, 1989 Millions of tiny worms wriggled their way into Kingston’s drinking water, after a breakdown at a nearby treatment works in Hampton. Thames Water advised residents to tie muslin around their taps to strain the water before drinking it, to avoid swallowing the half centimetre creatures, known as chironomidae.

10 YEARS AGO

June 30, 2004 Former Tiffin School student Martin Saunders released his first novel – about the meteoric rise of a young English footballer – to coincide with the 2004 European Championship. The 26-year-old’s book, England’s Messiah, bore many parallels to real life, as a young starlet named Wayne Rooney took the tournament by storm.

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