9
Jun
2005

Mast do better!

by Kenny Smith

Lanarkshire

CAMBUSLANG residents are opposing a plan to erect a new mobile phone mast - which will be hidden inside a bowling club’s flagpole.

Houses in Grenville and Stewarton Drives, beside Kirkhill Bowling Club, have been leafleted over the past few days informing them of T Mobile’s plans for the area.

Already, a petition against the mast has been handed to the bowling club, with about 100 signatures gathered in a very short time.

Protestors have also written to Members of the Scottish Parliament, as well as local MP Tommy McAvoy, and intend to e-mail councillors on South Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee before they meet to decide on the issue next month.

A concerned Stewarton Drive resident said: “Because of an application to build a 3G mobile phone mast within 50 metres of my home, I sought support from my neighbours to oppose the installation.

“These neighbours also live dangerously close to the mast. I was amazed at the universal fear and concern expressed on the health risks.

“I gained almost 100 signatures in a very short time.

“The latest National Radiological Protection Board report acknowledges that more research is required and that there is growing evidence of biological effects from the rays emitted by these masts.

“The new 3G masts have been linked to negative effects on brain function. The report acknowledges that a minority of the general population may be ‘hypersensitive’ to the energy beams from the masts.”

The protestor pointed to quotes from Michael Clarke, radiation expert at the Health Protection Agency (NRPB).

Mr Clarke said: "We feel we should discourage prolonged use of mobile phones. Our view is that it is sensible to take a precautionary approach to mobile use, especially in the very young.”

The Stewarton Drive resident continued: “The Government recommends children less than eight should use mobile phones only for emergencies.

“The mast, which is at a similar height to the bedrooms of the surrounding houses, will expose the occupants to beams 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“I estimate that 50 per cent of those living within 100 metres of the mast have children of pre-school or primary school age - the age group that NRPB state are most at risk.

“T Mobile cannot tell me what other sites they have assessed before selecting this site in the middle of a residential area.

“There are alternative sites more remote from houses where the mast could be placed but they probably incur extra expense for T Mobile.”

To examine peoples’ concerns about mobile phone masts, the Government set up the Stewart Committee which reported in 2000.

The protestor continued: “This proposed mast does not have to be built, the risks, however small, do not have to be introduced to this residential area.

“As the Stewart Committee suggested, a precautionary approach should be adopted. We would suggest that prudent avoidance would be a better approach in our residential area.

“The health and well being of those who play at Kirkhill Bowling Club will also be put at risk, as they also will be subjected to the energy beams from the proposed mast.

“High-spirited youths have been known to trespass on the bowling green and it is believed that they flew underwear on the flagpole.

“A proper fence will be required round the flagpole to prevent youths shinning up the flagpole and getting fried.

“The field behind Grenville Drive or the pathway across the field at the top of West Coats Road seem more appropriate locations.“

Anyone looking for more information on the protests should e-mail mash_the_mast@yahoo.co.uk.
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