Al Fayed to challenge plans for phone mast near estate

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Mohamed Al Fayed, owner of Harrods, has won permission to challenge plans to erect a 22m-high mast for mobile phones near his estate at Oxted, Surrey.

A High Court judge yesterday gave him leave to seek judicial review on the grounds that the go-ahead for the tower, which will have six antennae and four dishes, was "unlawful, null and void and of no effect".

His QC Ian Croxford argued that objections based on a risk health were never properly put before Tandridge District Council before it granted planning permission in July to Mercury Personal Communications. Mr Justice Moses ruled there was "an arguable case" which should go to a full hearing. But he refused to make a court order banning the erection of the mast before the hearing, expected to be in six to 12 months' time.

After yesterday's hearing, Mr Al Fayed's solicitor, Alan Meyer, said the judge's decision would provide an opportunity to air growing world- wide concern about the possible risk to human health from exposure to low frequency radio waves from mobile phone masts.