Mast plan sparks child health fears

A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a mast to be sited near a school has been submitted for a second time despite being turned down just a few months ago.

Planning permission was rejected for a telephone mast in Mornington Crescent, Nuthall, back in November last year and Vodafone and Telefonica O2 have now submitted a second application for it to be built around the corner on Woodhouse Way near the Old Moor Lodge pub.

Residents and councillors’ main concern at the time was the fact the 13.8 metre mast was so close to Mornington Primary School – and the latest application only takes it around the corner.

Cllr Philip Owen lives in Nuthall and is Nottinghamshire County Council’s cabinet member for children and young people.

He said: “I am concerned that yet again there’s a proposal to build a mast near a primary school.

“I think from a medical evidence point of view, 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.”

The original application was for it to be sited outside the Spar shop in Mornington Crescent and residents said it was ‘ludicrous’ for it to going the middle of a housing estate.

Speaking at the time, Mewal Singh, 53, said: “It’s the radiation we are objecting to. There’s a school nearby and it’s not healthy.”

And other residents also joined the fight against the proposals.

Andrew Beck added: “I can’t see why you would want to stick one in a residential area when you could put it on the motorway where it can blend into another load of steelwork.

The proposed new site off Woodhouse Way is also a residential area, and campaigners believe there are plenty of other suitable sites available nearby.

But a Vodafone spokesman said the shared base station with O2 would meet planning guidelines.

He added: “Base stations are low powered which only cover approximately half a mile in radius and 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 that they are able access high speed mobile broadband services that will allow them to use a wide range of services offered by smartphones and tablets.

“In order to meet this demand, we have proposed a new shared base station on Woodhouse Way.

“We have previously had a proposal refused by the local planning authority and following feedback from the council we have explored an option at the current site.

“This site has a number of mature trees that will screen the proposal and we submitted a planning application for this site earlier this month.”

If you want to make a comment about the phone mast plans, email pabc@broxtowe.gov.uk.