Phone mast fears at new school site

FEARS have been voiced that a new primary school in north Colchester is being built close to a radio mast.A public meeting held to discuss the new school was also the subject of criticism after parents and other interested parties were only given a week's notice about the meeting.

By Annie Davidson

FEARS have been voiced that a new primary school in north Colchester is being built close to a radio mast.

A public meeting held to discuss the new school was also the subject of criticism after parents and other interested parties were only given a week's notice about the meeting.

The new school on the former Turner Village Hospital site would have spaces for 210 pupils and open in September 2009.


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Figures compiled by the county council forecast the area will be lacking 281 school places by the year 2011 and many of those will be in the catchment areas served by Myland Primary School and North Primary School.

A new school has been in the pipeline for the area for ten years.

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The meeting on Tuesday night at Myland Primary School heard how a radio mast in the grounds of Colchester General Hospital was close to the proposed school site.

The mast serves the emergency services as well as mobile phone technology and one parent claimed it was “exceptionally close to the school site.”

A spokeswoman for Essex County Council said: “Following on from the public meeting on Tuesday night concerns have been raised by someone about a radio mast.

“We are checking whether that radio mast would impact on the proposed school site at all.

“We are now checking on the intensity of the radio waves from the mast rather than the distance from the school.

“As part of the consultation process we will be feeding back any information to the local community.”

Myland Primary School headteacher David Young also said he found it “surprising that after ten years of waiting we are given a week's notice for such an important issue.”

But the county council spokeswoman said that the meeting had been advertised in the local press and the official consultation document had been delivered to local homes with the meeting details, as well as it being advertised with parish councils.

She added that updates would be put on the county council's website and another meeting would be held before the consultation period ended on April 11.

Internet Links: www.essexcc.gov.uk

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