Fear over phone mast green light

A NUTHALL councillor has revealed her concern and frustration after a planning application for a telephone mast near to a school in the village was given the green light.

Residents and councillors said they were worried about the possible health risks associated with the mast so close to Mornington Primary School after a first application was submitted at the end of last year.

Plans were rejected, but a second application put in earlier this year for the mast to be sited just around the corner was given the go ahead last week.

Cllr Jill Owen, who is a governor at the school, said: “I am very concerned about it.

“In the last few weeks a report has suggested that mobile phones should not be used in schools at all because of potential health risks.

“There’s no proof that it won’t affective the children. I’m not happy about it at all.”

Plans were initially submitted to put the mast outside the Spa shop in Mornington Crescent. When it was turned down, a second application went in to put it around the corner in Woodhouse Way.

But Cllr Owen said the mast should at least have gone on the other side of the road – further away from the school and away from the houses, shops and the health centre on the Assarts Farm Estate.

“They could have put it on the other side of the road where the other masts are,” she said.

“Then it would have been away from the houses and shops as well. It’s just field on the other side. It seems silly.”

The 13.8ft Telefonica and O2 mast will be sited near to the Old Moor Lodge pub.

Her husband Cllr Phillip Owen is Nottinghamshire County Council’s cabinet member for children and young people’s services.

He added: “As far as I am concerned the jury is still out as to whether there are likely to be long term issues with regard to the development of children’s brains.

“It’s not been proven one way or the other and under the circumstances you have to err on the side of caution.”

After the first application was submitted, residents branded the plan ‘ludicrous’ for it being in the middle of a housing estate. They said it should go somewhere off the nearby M1 motorway.

But a spokesperson for Vodaphone said the shared base station with O2 would meet planning guidelines.

He said: “Base stations are low powered and only cover approximately half a mile in radius. Therefore we have to put base stations close to our customers.

“We have identified that we need to improve the 3G coverage to our customers in Broxtowe so they are able to access high speed mobile broadband services.”

The spokesperson said there was a number of mature trees that would ‘screen’ the mast.

For more information about the plan visit www.broxtowe.gov.uk.