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Growing 'forest of phone masts' could force photographer out of Hampstead

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 October 2012

Phone mast on hotel roof in Frognal

Phone mast on hotel roof in Frognal

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A photographer has blamed the "forest of phone masts" which have sprouted up in Hampstead for her failing health and says another mast could signal the end of her time in the village.

A photographer has blamed her failing health on the “forest of phone masts” sprouting up in Hampstead – saying another mast could force her to move away for good.

Delilah Dyson Turnbull claims that some electrical signals cause her to collapse.

She is forced to avoid Hampstead Police Station and certain shops in the village due to the pain the signals cause her.

And she was even rushed to the Royal Free Hospital in fear that she was having a heart attack.

Now, if a bid to install a telecoms mast in Redington Gardens is approved by Camden Council, Ms Dyson Turnbull says she will consider putting her home in Netherhall Gardens up for sale.

The 62-year-old said: “The masts can be diabolical on your immune system. It makes you feel very, very old very, very quickly. It’s like rheumatism.

“When I walk past certain masts, they make me want to fall to the floor.

“It’s putting me in a position where I stay in Hampstead and die or move somewhere without so many masts.”

Government commissioned reports say there is no evidence of direct harm or ill health from living close to phone masts.

But Ms Dyson Turnbull claims to suffer from electro hypersensitivity.

The condition, caused by electromagnetic fields from mobile phones, computers and phone masts, can lead to a range of symptoms, from headaches to heart palpitations.

It is not recognised as a medical diagnosis in the UK – but is in Sweden.

Telecoms firm Everything Everywhere plans to relocate an eight metre mast from King’s College London’s student halls in Kidderpore Avenue to Redington Gardens.

An online petition against the mast has garnered 161 signatures, with actor Tom Conti backing the campaign.

Ms Dyson Turnbull was once a pioneering photographer, inventing a technique known as solar spectrum photography, capturing a range of colours without the use of filters.

But her condition threw a “spanner in the works” and forced her to abandon her passion. Her work has been exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery in Soho and Hampstead’s Burgh House.

“This condition is like trying to function without a brain,” she said.

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