SBC’s £18,000 phone mast revenue revealed

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SCOTTISH Borders Council (SBC) raises over £18,000 per year from telecommunications masts situated across the region.

The figure from five masts was revealed after questions by Galashiels councillor John Mitchell about a controversial 35ft post which is to be sited in the Sanderson court area of the town by mobile phone operators Orange.

The most money is generated from a mast at SBC’s headquarters in Newtown St Boswells, £5,723 a year, followed by Pinnaclehill in Kelso (£4,750), Millers Knowes in Hawick (£4,200), 02’s Currie Road location (£2,000) and Coldstream Industrial Estate (£1,500).

A mast in the Linglie area near Selkirk makes nearly £11,000 a year for the town’s common good fund.

However, Allan Strang, who is objecting to the location of the Orange pole in Galashiels, is still unsatisfied, and is preparing a complaint to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman.

He said: “The question of how much the council has made from the mast being sited in Sanderson Court has still not been answered.”

Mr Strang has gathered more than 100 signatures from Glendinning residents concerned by the proximity of the mast.

He still believes a site at Manse Street should have been considered by councillors. Households in Glendinning fear radiation and the devaluation of their homes.

SBC members who approved the planning bid in January were unable to consider health concerns under Scottish planning policy.

Orange says global scientific reviews have found no adverse health effects caused by mobile phone base stations.

Councillor Mitchell said: “I sympathise but there is not much more we can do. It has never been proven that these masts pose health risks and until it has been it will be very difficult to see what action can be taken.”