MP's bid for right to blast the masts

A DEMAND has been issued to Government ministers to give Weston residents a chance to fight plans to build a series of masts in the town

A DEMAND has been issued to Government ministers to give Weston residents a chance to fight plans to build a series of masts in the town.Four masts, up to 30m high will be put up in the area by Network Rail to help construct a communications network for the railway authority.The organisation does not need planning permission for the masts but Weston MP John Penrose says people should have a chance to fight the proposals and not be 'muzzled'.He plans to meet Network Rail bosses and has questioned ministers in the House of Commons on why planning laws forbid local people to challenge the proposals.The company says the masts are essential for safety reasons but residents are concerned they will emit dangerous microwave energy and hit property values.Network Rail plans to put up the masts near Weston Railway Station, Worle Railway Junction - where the track branches into two in Locking Castle - near a path known as West Mendip Way in Bleadon and at Kenn Moor Gate in Yatton.They are part of the company's plans to replace old radio systems across the country with a new system designed to help signallers and train drivers communicate, which it says is an essential part of a national safety scheme.The authority's bosses say they try not to put them up in residential areas and insist they do not broadcast a signal in all directions like mobile telephone masts, but direct the signals along the railway line, and promise emissions levels away from the track will be significantly lower.


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