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Independents' Day

GPs fight phone mast on surgery

GPs in the Isle of Man have become the latest to take on the might of mobile phone companies over the siting of controversial telephone masts.

The first that three GPs at a surgery in Orchan knew of the plans to erect two new masts on their roof, in addition to two existing ones, was when they came in to find a crane installing them.

Dr Jim McAlister said nobody at the practice had been told that Cable and Wireless intended to put the masts on the roof of the surgery building, which is owned by a local supermarket group and leased to the DHSS (the Manx health authority).

The health authority was also unaware of the plans, which were approved by councillors.

Three years ago Leeds GP Dr Christine Nunn famously lost a High Court battle over a mast close to her home.

Dr Nunn took her case against T-Mobile to court, arguing the proximity of its mast to her and other homes was causing migraines and other health problems. GPs in Edinburgh were also part of a campaign against T-Mobile putting a mast close to their surgery.

Dr McAlister, who is now raising a petition against the new masts, said: 'I have a device measuring electro-magnetic radiation in my surgery and it's buzzing off the scale. The companies say there's no risk to health or safety but that's not going to wash with me.'

Cable and Wireless declined to comment.

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