Outrage over phone mast close to school

CONTROVERSIAL plans to install a phone mast close to a primary school has not gone down well with residents.

Mobile phone company Hutchison 3G has submitted planning applications for a 12m radio mast to be erected at the junction between Grange Avenue and Parkstone Road.

The proposed site is in the middle of a residential area and within 90m of St Peter and St Paul's playgroup.

Home owners, parents and staff at the playgroup plans to present a petition to the council.

Will Burkitt, who lives on Parkstone Road, believes the proposals are outrageous and should be vetoed.

He said: "This plan has aroused a lot of bad feeling in the area and I wish to protest in the strongest possible way. Firstly it's a very built up area with many old residents and secondly it's close to an area where small children play everyday.

"Radiation transmitted from these masts can damage the health of people living close to them and they are also an eyesore."

Staff and parents at the playgroup were equally vocal in their condemnation of the mast.

Cynthia Dunmall and Mariam Hutchison have run the playgroup for the last 15 years.

Mrs Dunmall said: "We are concerned about the children's health and welfare. We have a petition going and everyone we have asked has signed it."

Cinnamon Austin, whose three-year-old son Quinn attends the playgroup, was also not happy about the positioning of the mast. She said: "There might be possible health risks associated with phone mast, there might not. But when my child is involved I'm not prepared to take the risk."

When the Observer contacted 3G for comment, we were referred to Erickson employee and mast expert Gareth Combes-Olney.

He said: "All of Hutchison 3G's equipment is carefully safety tested and complies with international safety standards set by the International Commission for Radiation Protection.

Omega read "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk?" under: //omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/

"We are more than happy to talk to anybody who has concerns on 07792 328255."

The application is at the consultation stage and will come before the planning committee in the next two months.

09 May 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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