Health fears for children from Orange phone mast scheme for Castle Acre

Fearsthat children's health could be put at risk by a new police communications system proposed for Castle Acre will be considered by planners on Monday. A 150-signature petition and 65 letters have been sent to West Norfolk Council objecting to Orange's plan to put a Tetra system on its present 30m mobile phone mast north of Orchard Lane.

Despite concerns, the council's development control board is recommended to approve the plans.

A report says the plan is part of a programme to supply essential radio coverage for Norfolk Police, and installing new equipment on the existing mast will not significantly alter its appearance or height.

It says health risks from mobile phone communications, and particularly the Tetra system, were researched for the Stewart Report. This acknowledged transmissions at certain frequencies might affect brain function, but there was no evidence it was a health hazard.

Castle Acre Parish Council objected, saying: "No evidence of safety exists for the proposed Tetra system – on the contrary, it is a development of a transmission system originally intended for use as an anti-personnel weapon.

"A large body of evidence exists which points to symptoms such as dizziness, nosebleeds, migraines and sleeplessness occurring in previously healthy individuals in proximity to Tetra. Heart pacemakers can be adversely affected by Tetra."

Castle Acre Primary School has objected, saying its proposed new school in Back Lane would be close to the mast and if a Tetra system was installed, and there would be "serious concerns and ultimately long-term health consequences" for the children.

"As we have recently become one of Norfolk's Healthy Schools, it would be ironic to see the future health of the pupils put under greater risk by this mast," it says.

The village's district councillor, Gwyneth Thorneywork, says: "Children are far more at risk from radiation that these masts generate, as their skulls are thinner and so absorb far more radiation.

"We have a right to protect our children which is why I feel so strongly against these Tetra systems."

02 December 2005




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