Say no to phone mast near new school

PETER WALSH

17 February 2006 09:54

Families have been urged to sign a petition against a mobile phone mast which could be built just metres way from a site planned for a 420-pupil primary school.

Phone company O2 has submitted plans for a 12.5 metre mast with ground-based equipment on Dussindale Drive, Thorpe St Andrew.

But the site is close to a plot of land at Vane Close, off Dussindale Drive, earmarked as the site for a new £4 million primary school.

Roy Francis, 52, from Vane Close, said: “There's a meeting with regards to the school next Wednesday and there will be a petition to sign at that meeting,” said Mr Francis, who works as an aircraft engineer.

“It's the public's opportunity to stop something in its tracks. It's better to protest before the event than after,” he said.

“The catchment of pupils for the new school will be Thorpe St Andrew, not just Dussindale.”

Mr Francis said he would be taking the petition house to house in the next few days in order to get support from those who could not attend the meeting.

But he said he hoped the application would be thrown out without the need for a petition.

“I was expecting it to get quashed,” he said. “They said Thorpe St Andrew High School is the nearest school. If that was the logic that they've applied they must be oblivious to the fact they are going to build a school on that site.”

Experts have warned of a radiation risk to the brains of young children caused by radiowaves from mobile phone technology, with the signal strongest between 50 and 200 metres from the masts.

The Evening News has campaigned against the installation of mobile phone masts until it is proved they are safe through our Put Masts on Hold campaign.

Dr Ian Gibson, MP for Norwich North, and supporter of our campaign, called on people to sign the petition: “It should be compulsory to sign it - the young people as well and the children who will be going to the school.”

Neil Mclennan of Cavalier Close, just metres from the proposed mast site, said: “The jury is still out, but why go to that risk when it seems that primary children are the most susceptible to it.”

Brian Hurrell, 51, who has lived in Cavalier Close since 2001, said: “I'm not saying I'm against mobile phone masts - there's still a lot of work to be done to prove it has any effects - but it just seems strange, in light of the situation at the moment, that you would get a mast in that particular place.”

Steven Reilly, spokesman for Norfolk County Council, which is behind the plans for the new school, said: “While current advice suggests that there is no evidence of health effects from mobile phone masts, we recognise that this remains an area of concern for some people.

“At this stage there is a shadow governing body for the new school and they may wish to consider this application. As with any planning application, local people and organisations can make their views known to Broadland Council.”

A spokesman for O2 said it did not agree with the view that mobile phone masts held any risk to the public at all and would not be withdrawing the application.

“We've put in the planning application and if local people are opposed to it they've got a perfect right to do that. They have a right to go along to the planning committee and voice that.”

Ü What do you think of the plans? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, email eveningnewsletters @archant.co.uk or visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/forums


The Norfolk Jumbo Copyright © 2006 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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