29
Jun
2005

MAST PLANS ANGER

The Citizen Gloucestershire

10:30 - 28 June 2005

An anti-mast campaigner has condemned as "monstrous" plans to erect a mobile phone mast close to two Stroud schools.

Mast Sanity spokeswoman Lynne Edmunds said it was "totally unacceptable" that Vodafone had applied to put up a third generation antennae on the pavement between two bus stops in Merrywalks. The 12m-high mast would tower over the Rosary Primary School and St Rose's Special School , said Miss Edmunds.

"It is the worst plan since the Tetras (police system) four years ago," said Miss Edmunds, who is concerned about possible ill-effects the health of local pupils.

"Vodafone clearly pays no attention to the vulnerability of children," she said.

But Vodafone spokeswoman Jane Frapwell said: "We are talking here about very low-powered devices - about as powerful as a light bulb.

"They have to be stationed where mobile phone users are. If we put it on a hill outside of Stroud it would only cover the hill."

Ms Frapwell said: "There are guidelines designed to protect all sectors of the public."

A few months ago Miss Edmunds and Mast Sanity backed a protest that blocked proposals for a similar Hutchison 3G mast near The Shrubberies, a special school in Stonehouse.

The Merrywalks mast would be only 175 metres from St Rose's and 120 metres from The Rosary, said Miss Edmunds.

Miss Edmunds said she feared radiation from the mast would also affect bus passengers.

Stroud District Council senior planning officer Andrew Case said the Vodafone application was already out to public consultation.

Regulations stated representations could be made about its site and appearance until a deadline of July 15.
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