Campaigners 'will keep fighting' against mast put up overnight [Derby Evening Telegraph (England)]
(Derby Evening Telegraph (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) PROTESTERS who fought the installation of a phone mast in Belper have vowed to continue their campaign after it was put up while they slept.
They woke to find the mast, which is shared by Vodafone and O2, installed at the corner between Laund Nook and Marsh Lane.
After plans for the mast were approved by Amber Valley Borough Council's planning board, residents began protesting and more than 100 people signed a petition started by Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham.
Dr Peter Blunsdon, head teacher at St John's Church of England School, which is less than 125m from the mast, said he was disappointed.
He said: "The concern has always been for the health and wellbeing of kids, without clear evidence that says these microwaves are not going to be harmful in any way to young people.
"Research into the effect of the microwaves is both ambivalent and ongoing and that is a worry.
"It is hugely disappointing that the mast has been put up but it has not yet been switched on, so we will carry out a study of people's health before it is, and do so afterwards, to gauge the effect it might have on people." Campaign group Belper Against the Mast was set up to fight the plans.
Member Sue Sisson said: "We are extremely disappointed that the mast has gone up in this surreptitious way.
"The council let us down and Vodafone and O2 have treated us contemptuously." The Government commissioned a report into the effects of radiation from phone masts, called the Stewart report, 11 years ago.
The report concluded there was no general risk to the health of people living near base stations but did state there was a possibility of adverse health effects in some cases. It recommended a "precautionary approach" be taken to siting masts until further research was done.
A spokesman for O2 said the report was part of the national guidelines they followed - the Code of Best Practice on Mobile Phone Network Development. The spokesman said: "We identified that we needed to improve the 3G coverage to our customers in Belper and, after obtaining appropriate planning permission, have built a shared base station on the corner of Marsh Lane and Laund Nook.
"In accordance with industry best practice we undertook pre- application consultation with the local community. Two objections were received. Typical public radiation exposures from our base stations will be many hundreds, if not thousands, of times below international guidelines." [email protected] PHONE POLE PLANS MEET OPPOSITION MORE than 100 people have signed an online petition against a phone mast being built in Littleover.
Telecom giants O2 and Vodafone have put in a planning application to Derby City Council, stating that the 12.5-metre mast would provide better 3G coverage in the area.
The petition was started by Councillor Les Allen before he became the Mayor of Derby.
He claimed that the structure would be in the wrong location because it would be too close to a nursery and healthcare centre.
He said that the 11-year-old Government-commissioned Stewart Report supported his view.
The planning application states that other alternative locations were considered but discounted.
A spokesman for Vodafone said studies showed that the nearer someone was to the mast, the lower the exposure.
The petition can be signed at www.campaigns.libdems.org.uk/ hollybrookwaymast.
O2 and Vodafone have also submitted plans for a mast in Boulton. The plans have been met with anger by residents who fought against a similar structure being built 100 yards away.
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