Residents oppose cellphone tower

Brighton residents (from left) Daryl Hanna, Merle Williamson, Matthew Hanna (4), Eli Bowen (7),...
Brighton residents (from left) Daryl Hanna, Merle Williamson, Matthew Hanna (4), Eli Bowen (7), Rachel Bowen and Asher Bowen (4) stand near the site of a proposed 2degrees cellphone tower. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.

A group of Brighton residents has pledged to fight the erection of a 2degrees cellphone tower over concerns the signals it produces could be harmful.

The group, Brighton Residents v 2degrees, was formed on Sunday after residents in Scroggs Hill Rd were informed a 12m tower would be installed within the next 20 days.

A group spokesman, Daryl Hanna, said yesterday it would do everything it could to stop the tower being installed so close to their homes.

Although the site meets World Health Organisation guidelines on cellphone towers,

Mr Hanna claimed there was still ''doubt'' about the impact of towers on people's health. He pointed to a BBC documentary, which found the towers could potentially be harmful.

Residents were disappointed there was no consultation period before the council approved the tower last week.

''I think the council is supposed to represent us and, right now, they don't care about us. They are more concerned about letting the corporate come in and set up camp right in our neighbourhood.''

The group had set up a petition, given out flyers to Brighton residents and planned to get as ''many people as possible'' to a meeting held by 2degrees at the memorial hall in Ocean View between 4pm and 8pm next Monday.

He accepted cellphone towers were necessary, but said they should be further from homes than the planned one was.2degrees external communications manager Charlene White encouraged members of the group to attend next week's meeting and hoped the company would be able to allay their fears. There was a lot of ''misinformation'' about the towers, she said.

''Most people don't realise that our equipment uses the same technology as other household items such as cordless phones and baby monitors.''

A council spokeswoman said it had no responsibility to inform the community about what was essentially an addition to utilities in the area. It had suggested 2degrees hold a meeting with residents, she

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