Carvoeiro residents protest against communications mast.jpg

Carvoeiro residents protest against communications mast

By ELOÏSE WALTON [email protected]

Residents from Areias dos Moinhos, one of the first developments to be built in Carvoeiro in the 80s, are protesting against a communications mast that is being constructed, without prior notice, near their homes.

Canadian resident Hal Jones said: “Two weeks ago, workmen from the Câmara arrived and started cutting down trees on the disused plot of land in our residential area.

“We didn’t know what was happening but have found out that a 40-metre communications antenna is to be erected just a few metres from our house.”

He said that after he found out what was happening, he immediately contacted his lawyer to try and get the work halted until an explanation of why the tower is necessary in the middle of an urban area was provided to the residents.

“Many of the houses in the surrounding area are empty as my neighbours do not live here in the winter months. If nothing is done, by the time they arrive, it will be too late, the mast will be erected and they won’t be able to do much about it,” he said.

Security network

Francisco Pires, a Portuguese resident from Areias dos Moinhos, said: “I am shocked at why this mast is being erected without anyone being told or warned about it.”

He added: “If Hal sets up a petition, then I will join it because this is not right. We are going to contact the other home owners who are currently away and tell them about the situation.”

 A spokesman from Lagoa Câmara told the Algarve Resident: “The mast was requested by the Ministry of Internal Administration, to improve the transmission signals for the security forces (GNR, PSP police and maritime authorities). The Câmara assigned this plot of land for the project. As far as I am aware, no public consultation was required.”

The Lagoa Câmara advises residents who are opposed to the project to contact them in the first instance.

The mast is part of the SIRESP, or Sistema Integrado de Redes de Emergência e Segurança de Portugal, which is the national integrated emergency and security network system.

 According to the civil protection authority, this is a unique communications system based on a single national telecommunication structure for use by the armed forces as well as the emergency services.

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