Derbyshire Evening Telegraph

09:30 - 24 August 2005

Governors at a Normanton school could take action over mobile phone masts which have been installed nearby.

The issue has been brought to people's attention after Derby City Council granted permission for mobile phone provider O2 to put up a 7.5m tower with three antennae on the roof of New Normanton Mills, in Stanhope Street, on July 29.

The two-storey building, which contains factories, already has two towers and three antennae for telecoms equipment.

Campaigners say that new guidelines concerning notification of schools should have been taken into account before the latest decision was made.

But the planning department said it did notify the correct people, sending out 108 letters to residential properties within 90m and schools within 200m.

These included Hardwick Primary School, in Hastings Street, which the council said was sent a letter on July 5.

But parents were not informed of the plans because the school's head teacher and governing body say they never received the letter.

Head teacher Sushma Sehmbi said: "I wasn't aware of it. Had we known we would have informed our parents. Stanhope Street is very close to the school.

"If masts are close to the school and they are a risk then it does concern us.

"When we go back to school after the summer holiday we will take up the issue with the governors. They could consider whether they want to take it up with the council.

"We will let the parents know by writing to them."

School governor Andrea Luscombe (38), who has a nine-year-old son, Lee Russell, at the school, said: "It's quite concerning that the mast is so close to the school, when there could be health risks.

"I didn't even know there were any masts there."

Ms Luscombe, of St James' Road, said the issue of mobile phone masts would be considered by the governors.

Dorothy Skrytek, of Crewe Street, said that under the latest information from the Stewart Report on mobile phone and health produced by the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones, school governors should be consulted on proposals for masts near schools.

"As far as I know there was no consultation. I sent out leaflets through people's doors letting them know, but the council had already granted permission."

An O2 spokesman added: "All of O2's mobile phone masts operate well within international safety guidelines."

Omega this statement is plain and simple not true. See further under: http://omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/


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