Radio mast battle continues
3 March, 2004

Residents against a 15 foot police radio mast being built near a school and homes in a Snowdonia village have vowed to continue their fight - although work has already began.

Villagers tried to stop engineers from O2 Airwave building the mast for North Wales Police on top of the Royal Goat Hotel in the centre of Beddgelert.

They are angry that Snowdonia National Park Authority granted planning permission for the Terrestrial Trunked Radio, or Tetra mast, which they claim could be a threat to their health.

Some residents claim electromagnetic radiation from the mast could lead to health problems.

But the company has said there was no evidence to support worries about safety.

A meeting between residents and the company was arranged on Tuesday afternoon.

Josh Berle, of O2 Airwave, said "overwhelming scientific opinion" stated that the Tetra technology had "no adverse health impact."

Workers begin to build the mast
The mast is only 500 metres away from a school
The company already has 2,500 transmitters across the UK.

It claims the system provides more secure and improved radio communication for the emergency services.

However, villager Freda Macdonald said: "I'm less inclined to believe them now than before the meeting.

"They have gone and put the mast up this morning without any consideration on how the meeting might have gone."

She said residents would now try and overturn the planning permission.

Work on the mast is expected to be completed in the next few days.