School U-turn on phone mast

A MOBILE phone mast on a South Shore school is to come down.

Bosses at Arnold School have confirmed the aerial on top of the school on Lytham Road will be switched off by July next year.

The school has decided not to renew the contract with mobile phone giant Orange following concern from parents and residents.

As revealed in The Gazette on Friday, Orange is seeking planning permission to place a similar mast on Highfield Road.

Residents living close to the site, Moulton's Printers, have launched a campaign to block the plans and are collecting names on a petition to Blackpool Council.

They fear masts are dangerous and could have health implications for the community.

They are particularly concerned the antennae on the roof of the printer's building would be next to a children's playground and close to a nursery and homes.

Pat McCarthy, bursar at Arnold School, said while the school did not have any concerns about the safety of the mast it had decided it was not in the school's best interests for it to remain.

He said: "Our current contract expires in July 2007 and as part of an ongoing review by the governing council it was decided not to renew the contract. We have given Orange the required notice.

"Some parents were unhappy with the mast so although the governing council was satisfied the mast itself is safe, in the end they decided the school would be better off without it."

Coun Susan Fowler said: "It is great news that the one at Arnold is coming down. The safety of such masts has not yet been proven and until it is we should not be putting them in built-up areas."

05 June 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.


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