23
Feb
2005

Mobile mast generates health fears

Feb 23 2005

By Anthony Harvison, Crewe Chronicle

THE possibility of a phone mast being erected near a built-up area of Coppenhall is alarming residents worried it could be a health hazard.

Mobile phone company Vodafone is in the early stages of seeking planning permission for a mast in Parkers Road to provide third generation services to users in the area.

But the news has shocked nearby residents, fearful over the effects electromagnetic radiation emitted by the masts might have on their health. It follows fears voiced in the Chronicle last week by people living near four masts at Hough and Chorlton.

Geoff Wilson, of Elmstead Close, is leading a campaign to stop the mast getting planning permission. He feels it is in a totally unsuitable location. He said: 'It is a ludicrous position to place a mast. There are dozens of farmers' fields six or seven hundred yards down the road which would be a better site than this. 'It's really slap-bang in the middle of a residential area, with hundreds of houses, an old people's home literally 50 yards away and two schools in the vicinity, Mablins Lane and Leighton.

'As a parent of a three-year-old son this is a major concern. I know we have got to move on and we all want better phone reception but my main worry is health. These radio signals do not go round the long way. They go straight through the houses.'

Mr Wilson has been receiving support from national pressure group Mast Sanity and is in the process of contacting Eddisbury MP Stephen O'Brien. He has also gained the assistance of Independent councillor for Leighton, Byron Evans, who expressed sympathy for the residents' plight: 'People are not totally convinced of the safety of these masts in the long-term. We will look into this to see if the positioning is appropriate or not.'

A spokesman for Vodafone said the proposed mast has to be near the housing estate to be effective, adding: 'We do understand that some people will have concerns but we have got to balance that with the need to provide a mobile phone service to many millions of customers. 'We comply with stringent international guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation which has said that despite enormous amounts of research, there is no substantiated evidence of any adverse health effects.'


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