Furious Ripon residents condemn phone mast plans
Furious residents have condemned plans to build a 15-metre telephone mast on land at Ripon Rugby Club, fearing the impact on health for the hundreds of young people who regularly use the playing fields.
The plans to install the mast to the south of the clubhouse have been submitted by mobile network operator EE, and the rugby club and Ripon City AFC are among those to have formally submitted objections to Harrogate Borough Council.
The emotive comments from one eight-year-old Ripon girl have particularly struck a chord with residents who are fighting against the proposals.
So passionate about stopping the build, Florence Anderson made a poster to illustrate her points, which reads: “Please help us by making Ripon Rugby Club stay safe for the future. There are much better places to put a mast than the rugby club, the place we love to play.
“By doing this you are helping Ripon to stay unique and give children and adults the chance to enjoy sports. I’m only an eight-year-old girl, and I can’t do much, but please help, it’s a big memory to me, my friends and my community.”
Florence’s mother Izzy said: “I’m concerned that it will be the green light for further development of this valuable green space. The three playing fields are a jewel in Ripon’s crown - it’s been a home and still is to thousands of people, including one of the largest youth rugby clubs in the area who use it and have done for over 100 years.
“My second concern is the risk to health. The elderly and young are among those most vulnerable to the waves emitted from such a mast. Ripon Rugby Club is surrounded by many schools, play areas and homes for the elderly. We are living at a time where, despite the advances of technology, people are feeling disconnected. We need to keep Ripon Rugby Club a safe place for our community.”
A public objection submitted by Ripon Rugby Club reads: “The club’s junior membership is over 300 junior players, and the club has a significant role to play in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of its members. If the club’s ability to perform this role is compromised, then this becomes a real and significant threat to the viability of a community facility.”
A spokesperson for EE, said: “We know how important it is for people to be connected. The proposed mast at Ripon Rugby Club will only offer 2G,3G, and 4G technology, and we’re working closely with organisations like Historic England to make sure the visual impact of the mast is minimal.”