18 August 2004
Philip Dunne, South Shropshire's Conservative parliamentary challenger, says local residents should have powers to block unwanted phone masts.

The Conservatives unveiled a policy yesterday, called You Decide Where They Go, which outlines plans to tackle cheap and poorly designed masts blighting communities across the country.

Philip Dunne said of the plans, "This policy represents the biggest change in planning regulations since the 1984 Telecommunications Act. Conservatives would ensure all masts require full planning permission, that health concerns are taken into account and that the visual effects of new masts are considered. This would help the debate locally over proposals for masts to improve coverage in the South Shropshire area, where as we know, reception is patchy or non-existent in many places. Local residents would have more power to decide the outcome when applications are made.

"The policy launch comes amid warnings that under 3G technology there could be an estimated 100,000 more masts sited across the country in addition to new 'Tetra' and Network Rail masts."