Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, today welcomed a proposed new law to give local councils a stronger say on the location of mobile phone masts.

    A Private Members Bill introduced by Conservative MP, Richard Spring, was to be debated in the House of Commons last Friday, 5th March. The Bill is now due to have its Second Reading on the 20th May and if it were to be passed, it would give greater powers to local authorities in England and Wales to reject inappropriate applications for mobile phone masts, and place the onus on telecommunication companies to prove that there is a need for controversial masts at each location.

    Peter Lilley explained: “There is a great deal of concern in Hitchin and Harpenden about the erection of mobile phone masts. Nearly all of us want to be able to use mobile phones, but that doesn‘t mean we should allow poorly-sited mobile phone masts. Scotland and Northern Ireland already have tougher rules, and there is a strong case for England and Wales to follow that example.

    “There are also concerns about health. The independent Stewart Report commissioned by the Government concluded that there is no evidence of damage to health by signals from these masts, but recommended a precautionary principle when deciding locations for them. The government have ignored this advice.

    “That is why I welcome these proposals, which would give local people a greater voice to stop the invasion of badly-placed masts.”