Parents anger over mobile phone mast
FURIOUS parents protesting about a controversial mobile phone mast near an Essex primary school have been given the backing of their MP.The Vodafone mast was installed last month just 120 yards from Hamilton Primary School in Colchester, sparking outrage from parents.
FURIOUS parents protesting about a controversial mobile phone mast near an Essex primary school have been given the backing of their MP.
The Vodafone mast was installed last month just 120 yards from Hamilton Primary School in Colchester, sparking outrage from parents.
They claim the school, in Constantine Road, was aware of the plans for the mast but did not pass the information on.
A petition has been launched and has so far attracted 400 signatures including Colchester MP Bob Russell, who has pledged to raise the matter with the borough council.
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He told the EADT last night: “I have had four separate complaints from constituents in the last week on three separate radio masts.
“I am going to set a meeting with the council's planning department.
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“The phone companies are playing the system very cleverly and the dice are heavily loaded in their favour.”
Sarah Costello, whose children go to the school, said only a handful of residents had been made aware of the mast and said they were concerned about possible health risks.
She said: “I was horrified because I live just around the corner from the mast and I knew nothing about it.
“I rang the council and they said it didn't need planning permission, only prior consent, and someone has given permission for it about 100 yards from the school.
“What research has begun to show is that the masts can cause cancer.
“What they call cancer clusters are beginning to crop up within 400 yards of these areas. There's quite a high rate of people developing cancer near these phone masts.
“Even the government think that the children who haven't developed, who are under 15, are at an even higher risk.
“You could say 'take it as it is' but the number of people who have complained of headaches on this road is just phenomenal.”
However, there is no scientific consensus that phone masts are dangerous and several leading academics have gone on record to say they pose no risk to public health.
A spokesman for Vodafone said: “Vodafone recognises that some members of the community are concerned with the radio mast stations.
“All of our radio masts have been designed and built in compliance with the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation protection guidelines.
“These guidelines are recognised by the World Health Organisation as well as the British government.”