School fights phone mast

The Harlow Citizen

CONCERNED teachers, parents and children were out in force on Monday to demonstrate against a mobile phone mast set to go up in a field near their school.

Almost 200 people gathered at Manuden Primary School to hold banners and sign petitions in protest at the Orange phone mast planned for nearby Bantfield Bury Farm land.

And while residents admit that phone coverage in the village is poor, many are worried that siting the mast so close to the village could have serious repercussions.

Headteacher Linda Talbot said: "We don't know exactly what the health implications are but certainly children under 11 are said to be most vulnerable.

"There has not been enough research done to prove the safety of these masts and evidence is not yet conclusive. It would be best to leave them down until more is known.

"Not only that, they want to put a 20-metre mast in what is a really pretty piece of land. In the planning it says it will be covered from sight by the trees, but these are deciduous trees so in winter it will be clearly visible."

Mrs Talbot added: "They say the site will be 0.7 kilometres from the school, but we have worked it out on the map to be about 360 metres.

"We know these masts are necessary but there's so much land around Manuden that surely they could find a safer location well away from residents and the school."

The phone company's planning application which includes six antennae and four dishes is set to go before Uttlesford Council on Wednesday, September 21.

The school will hold more demonstrations before that.

Orange admitted that the mast was only 350m from the school but maintained it adhered strictly to all guidelines, and in most cases superseded them.

The company added that many schools in the UK hosted masts and there had been no evidence to suggest this had any adverse effects.

Omega the guidelines are obsolete see under:

An Orange spokesman said: "No substantiated evidence exists to date linking exposure to radio frequency emissions from mobile phone technology with adverse human health effects, despite significant global investment into this type of research.

"The conclusion reached by many of the organisations that regulate us is that the balance of evidence does not indicate a threat to human health from base station emissions."

The spokesman added that the Stewart Report, which advised the industry on siting and best practice, did not state that masts should be away from schools and residential areas, as there was no scientific basis for it.

Omega this is not true, substantiated evidence exists. See under:
http://omega.twoday.net/topics/Wissenschaft+zu+Mobilfunk/ http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=Cancer+Cluster

Orange said that for best coverage the mast had to be on high ground.

"We could potentially locate this on the opposite side of the village, but it would be closer to homes and would still be visible on the skyline," said the spokesman.

"The benefit of this location is that there is a cluster of trees that would at least provide a backdrop from a visual perspective."

10:41am 26.08.05


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August 2005

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