Residents against mobile phone mast near homes

By ELOISE WALTON [email protected]

A group of residents in Praia da Luz have joined forces to protest against a mobile phone mast, which has been erected near their homes in the Vila Serena residential area without their knowledge.

Local resident and protest initiator, Luis Cardoso, told the Algarve Resident: “We first noticed something was happening in January as a large hole was dug into the pavement behind my house before a truck brought a large mast. I went to speak to the workmen, who informed me it was a 3G phone antenna from Vodaphone.”

Luís Cardoso said that as he and his neighbours had not been informed about the installation of such a mast, he immediately contacted the local parish council who forwarded his complaint onto the Câmara.

“I have contacted the Câmara as well as requesting a personal meeting with the President to discuss this issue,” he said, adding: “We are sending a letter out to all the residents in the area to encourage them to write and complain to the Câmara about the mast.”

According to Luís Cardoso, the ultimate goal for residents is to have the mast removed.

Concerns voiced by the residents are that the mast will devalue their properties, be negative for the environment and poses a health risk to local residents due to the radiation it emits.

From left: Luis and Ana Maria Cardoso, Kay Vaz, Jackie and Terry Jell. Photo: ELOISE WALTON
From left: Luis and Ana Maria Cardoso, Kay Vaz, Jackie and Terry Jell. Photo: ELOISE WALTON

British resident Jackie Jell said: “The mast is unsightly and the biggest concern for me is the radiation and the fact that it occupies most of the pavement, so my mother who is wheelchair bound cannot travel along there.”

She added: “It’s unfair. We sold our home in the UK to live here and we wouldn’t put up with this sort of situation there and we will not put up with it here. Portugal is an EU country and they have to abide by the laws.”

A spokesman from Anacom, the national regulatory authority for communication, told the Algarve Resident: “Residents can make a complaint to us and request we carry out measurements of radiation, however, for every measurement we have ever made, the radiation values are always around 50 times lower than the legal limit.”

The spokesman added: “People often worry about health risks, but the masts are very high and radiation spreads horizontally.”

At the time the Algarve Resident went to press on Wednesday, Lagos Câmara was aware of residents’ concerns over the mast, with Mayor Júlio Barroso due to receive Luís Cardoso yesterday (Thursday) afternoon to discuss the issue.

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]