13
Jan
2006

Nursery boss fights phone mast plans

Hertfordshire Mercury

A NURSERY in Ware has vowed to fight plans to erect a mobile phone mast near its premises because bosses fear it may pose a health risk to the children.

Staff and parents at the Angels at Play nursery in Church Street have started a petition against the proposed 3G mast and have called on residents and schools to support them.

Angela Spencer, managing director of the playgroup, received a letter from Hutchison Tel.comlast week stating that a 41ft (12.50m) mast may be erected within a new lamppost in Baldock Street.

"This is a ridiculous thing to take a risk with," blasted Mrs Spencer. "A mast should not be located somewhere so close to people living and working, let alone nursery facilities.

"It's up to them to prove that masts don't pose any health risk, rather than for us to prove that they do — at the moment there's no definite proof either way. I don't want to be the person who says, 'There's the proof — a child who's ill'.

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"Some of our parents and staff feel very strongly about this. We must stand together for the benefit of all our children, because they cannot speak for themselves."

Last January, Sir William Stewart, the man the Government charged to investigate the safety of mobile phones, published his second controversial report about the health risks of mobile phone emissions. He admitted that he would not put base stations near schools and called for a review of planning laws in relation to masts.

Mrs Spencer has begun to alert local schools, including Chauncy and St Catherine's in Park Road and Stepping Stones nursery in Crib Street, as well as local businesses to the plans.

In addition to standard mobile features, 3G mobiles can send and receive video clips. Emissions from 3G masts are of much higher frequency than for standard phone masts.

Geregh Coombes-Olney is an independent spokesman for Ericsson on health, planning and law issues to do with mobile masts and is employed as part of the Hutchison consultation.

He said: "The whole point of the consultation is to find out what concerns people have and try to allay those fears.

"This is a very early stage and they have looked at lots of potential sites.

"Anyone who would like to discuss the issues, both for and against, is welcome to contact me directly."

East Herts Council said this week that it had not yet received a planning application for a mast.

l If you have concerns about the mast, contact Mr Coombes-Olney on 07782 328254.
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