Lincolnshire Echo

10:30 - 14 July 2005

Parents have vowed to fight plans to put a mobile phone mast within 100 metres of a children's playing field.

O2 Ltd wants to install the mast outside Birchwood Shopping Centre, in Lincoln.

The plan means the mast would be within 100 metres of Birchwood Junior School, in Larchwood Crescent.

There is already a T Mobile mast at the back of Birchwood Shopping Centre and an Orange one at the opposite end of Birchwood Avenue, near its junction with Pershore Way.

But parents of Birchwood Junior School pupils say this latest mast is too close for comfort.

The planned mast is also close to a clutch of other schools, including Leslie Manser in Kingsdown Road, the Lancaster School and the Papermoon Day Nursery, both in Jasmin Road.

The Government says there are no proven health risks.

Omega this statement is plain and simple not true. See further under: http://www.buergerwelle.de/body_science.html

But parents say they fear that radiation emitted by such masts could lead to infertility or diseases like cancer.

Mum Sam Wakefield (39), of Caistor Road, has Daisy (nine) at Birchwood Junior and Emily (six) at the Lancaster.

"I just don't see the need for it," she said. "Why situate something like that there when you have got so many schools around?"

Her neighbour Angela Fleming agrees.

Mrs Fleming has Lauryn (six) at the Lancaster and Daniel (eight) at Birchwood Junior.

"I wouldn't want any more being put in when there are schools in the area. All you hear about is the health risks," she said.

Birchwood Junior headteacher Carol Smith was due to meet governors to discuss the plans last night. "The safety of our children is our primary concern," she said.

O2 originally applied to install the mast in October 2004. But Lincoln city councillors asked the company to look into the possibility of combining the mast with existing ones in the area.

O2 now says those masts would have to be made unreasonably tall to accommodate it.

It has submitted another plan to the city council to put the mast on the grass verge at the shopping centre.

O2 says its plans are in line with guidelines issued by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) - a body of independent scientific experts.

"O2 is committed to ensuring all new installations are ICNIRP compliant and on this basis there is no basis for this application to be refused on health and safety grounds," the application says.

Omega see "ICNIRP: A well packaged web of lies" under: http://omega.twoday.net/stories/752060/

O2 community liaison officer Jim Stevenson added: "It is a very low-level radio transmitter and receiver. There should be no health and safety fears over the emissions."

The application is the latest in a string of mast plans to cause controversy.

These include a row about a placing a mast on St Giles Church, in Lamb Gardens, Lincoln, and worries about extending a mast on the maternity unit at Lincoln County Hospital.


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