Dad’s mast concerns

06 October 2005

The maximum beam of a hotly-disputed mobile phone mast, under construction on the periphery of a Dundee playpark, will fall directly into the popular children’s facility, it has been claimed, writes Bryan Kay.

Local man Matthew Strachan has received a letter from operator O2, which he believes contains an admission that by erecting the mast they are flouting health risks flagged up by the Stewart Inquiry.

Councillors unanim-ously refused the plan for the 12.5-metre mast on Blackness Road, near Balgay playpark last year, but a Scottish Executive reporter overturned their decision.

Mr Strachan, a father of three young children, regularly uses the park and is deeply concerned by the letter’s contents.

“I have measured the area and it is about 30 metres away at the nearest point and 80 metres at the furthest point,” he said.

“The ground does rise from the mast to the furthest point — at the slide — but from what they say in this letter, the beam of maximum intensity does go directly into the playpark.

“I wrote to the chairman and made it clear I am really worried now that they have admitted this.

“They must be working with badly-drawn maps because the work is going ahead and they have the knowledge that the beam of maximum intensity falls into the park.

“When the Scottish Executive inspection took place, the agent said it wouldn’t fall into the playpark. He also said health concerns would not be taken into account.

“There was no consultation with playpark users. It goes smack against the Stewart Inquiry, which says to proceed carefully.”

The O2 letter states, “The beam of greatest intensity is at 0.147 of the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) public reference level at 73 metres, being the maximum exposure level.

Omega see "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk?" under:

“The boundary of the playpark is not clearly defined, as it extends into the park area beyond.

“However, it would appear the furthest point of the equipment within the playpark is approximately 50m from our location.”

The letter went on to point out that scientific opinion remains divided on the health risks attached to masts, but conceded more research is required.

The company also disputed claims that no consultation was done prior to its planning application being submitted to the city council.

Near neighbours in Blackness Road, including residential properties, the bowling green, tennis club and Park View School, were all contacted, the company claimed.

O2 was unavailable for further comment before Press time.



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