Perthshire Advertiser

Apr 25 2006

Gordon Bannerman

ANXIOUS parents are threatening to boycott local schools after the Scottish Executive controversially approved plans for a phone mast in Perth’s Oakbank.

Despite a 550-strong petition and hostility from Perth and Kinross Council, the executive gave the go-ahead to Hutchison 3G’s plans at an appeal.

The decision has provoked an outcry in the Fair City – and the Oakbank Mast Action Group have vowed to continue their fight against the proposals. Derek Seath, of the OMAG, yesterday revealed an appeal to the Court of Session is on the cards and delaying tactics are being mapped out to carry on the fight.

Parents with children at nearby schools are furious at the Holyrood stamp of approval for a 15-metre mast beside the reservoir park.

And sisters Moina McLaren and Fiona Whyte yesterday revealed they were contemplating drastic action rather than send their 11-year-old youngsters to Perth High next year.

Fiona said: “I’m furious about this decision and I’m certainly not alone. I feel so strongly about it that I am preparing to sell up and move somewhere outwith the high school catchment area.

“I was one of the many who signed the initial petition but not for one moment did I expect the Scottish Executive to reverse the council’s decision.

“I certainly hope it doesn’t end here but I am not prepared to risk the health of my child. The mobile phone companies might say there is no cancer risk but that’s what the tobacco companies once said about cigarettes.”

Fiona’s Oakbank Road home will go on the market if the reservoir park mast is erected but she admitted: “This might well have an impact on property prices in the area but I will move out of Oakbank and ensure Phoebe doesn’t go to the high school. I feel very strongly about this issue. It’s ridiculous and really quite unbelievable.”

Moina, Brompton Terrace, echoed her sister’s concerns, saying: “Until this happened my son Rory was to be going to the high school next summer and his younger sister Lucia would have followed in a few years’ time.

“But if this mast does go up so close to the schools I will be looking at our options. I’m not prepared to take risks with their health.

“I was amazed by the Scottish Executive decision. How can they say it is alright to erect a mast in a residential area and so close to the schools? In the USA they won’t allow them in heavily populated areas so why is it tolerated here?

“I am not alone in perceiving it as a threat. I’m sure other parents will be thinking of taking their children away from the nearby schools.”

Mr Seath observed: “It’s a very real concern that parents will seek to move children out of schools in the area.”

owned by or licensed to Trinity Mirror Plc 2006



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