Gloucester news

10:30 - 07 July 2005

Angry residents gathered last night to protest against plans to put a mobile phone mast 100m from a Cheltenham school.

Dozens of campaigners waved placards and called for the plans to be scrapped. The furious reaction was prompted by phone company Hutchison 3G.

It has informed Cheltenham Borough Council it intends to put a 15m mast at the corner of Mead Road and Churchill Road, near Naunton Park Primary School.

The council could be powerless to stop it as aerials that are 15m tall or less do not need planning permission.

Di Gallagher lives opposite the site and has four children ranging in age from 10 to 14.

She said: "I don't think this is an appropriate place. Hutchison don't seem to appreciate that this is primarily a residential area.

"The proximity to the school makes me anxious. I've got children there and the health risks haven't been proved either way.

"It's not a chance I want them to take with my children's health."

Eight-year-old Laurie Cleevely goes to Naunton Park School and joined the protest with his parents Lorraine and Adrian.

His mother said: "He doesn't know what this mast might hold for his future.

"We want to make sure he grows up into a healthy young man."

Raj Gandhi, who lives in Mead Road , was protesting along with his sons Neil, 16, and James, 11.

He said: "From a health point of view there's no definitive study to say mobile phone masts don't do any harm."

Helen Maslin, who lives in Asquith Road, added: "The mast will look shocking. It'll be a blight."

Householders have been fighting plans for a mast in the area for a year.

Coun Klara Sudbury (Con, All Saints'), chairwoman of the residents' association, said: "People are really upset about this.

"We just want to make our point that people feel strongly."

In August 2004 the company revealed plans to install a mast on Leckhampton Kitchens and Bathrooms' premises in Mead Road .

Residents were up in arms and the freeholder of the building bowed to pressure and decided not to allow it on the building.

Now Hutchison has come back with another proposal.

The company says it has tried to find something that works from a technical point of view and is the least intrusive to the community.

It believes the chosen site is the best it can find and says the mast will comply with strict national guidelines on radiation.

Omega see under:
Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not [?!] present a Health Risk http://omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/


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