2
Jun
2005

Time row in school mast bid

Jun 1 2005

By Neil Elkes, Evening Mail Birmingham

PARENTS and staff at a city school fear they are the victims of a "bury bad news" scandal over plans for a mobile phone mast.

Teachers at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School, in Billesley, had only hours to notify parents and raise objections before the halfterm holiday.

They fear that the proposed 11.7m T-mobile mast may be a health risk to children and could be a blight on the Shire Country Park .

The park, known locally as the Dingles, was recently renamed The Shire after the picturesque land featured in Lord of Rings.

Head teacher Bernadette O'Shea sent a letter to parents just 48 hours before the school closed for half-term.

She said: "This is of great concern to us as a school as we have no evidence whether this installation will or will not be harmful to the children now or in the future."

Mrs O'Shea is urging parents to write to the planning department outlining their objections before next Wednesday's deadline.

She is worried the timing of the application just before half term may mean parents do not make their fears known to the council.

Birmingham City Council has planning guidance against siting masts within 200m of a school wherever possible, and this could fall foul of this.

The Government-backed Stewart Report recently urged caution over siting masts near to schools.

Although the same report, along with the mobile phone industry, concluded there is no evidence of a health risk.
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