PLANS to erect a mobile phone mast less than 100m away from two schools have been described as ‘madness’ – despite NHS research which says it would be safer than using a mobile phone.
Mobile operators have applied to build the mast on the corner of Lower Hillmorton Road and Abbott’s Way – just a short walk away from Abbot’s Farm Infant and Junior Schools.
Nearby resident Dr Leslie Falkingham – who received an official letter of notification from Rugby Borough Council (RBC) – told The Observer he was concerned the mast could affect pupils’ heath.
He said: “In view of the public concerns over the long term effects of radiation on people, particularly children, I believe that this application is ill-conceived and should be abandoned for a more suitable location.
“The parents of the children, unless they live very close to the school, will not receive notification of this proposal, and I believe that they have a right to know what their children may be subjected to.
“We need to stop this madness before it goes any further.”
He added the letter from RBC stated any rejection of the plan on health grounds would be overturned due to national policy.
But an RBC spokesman said the proposal was submitted with a certificate saying the mast would comply with International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) regulations.
He added that government planning policy stated: “If a proposed mobile phone base station meets the ICNIRP guidelines for public exposure it should not be necessary for a local planning authority to consider further the health aspects and concerns about them.”
And a 2005 report by the National Radiological Protection Board states there is no scientific basis for siting masts away from schools.
Furthermore, the NHS website states exposure to radiation from mobile phone masts is generally much lower than from mobile phones, and well below international guidelines.
It says: “Audits of the amount of radiation produced by base stations in the UK found the radiation produced is generally less than 0.005% of the guideline values.
“The Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme found no evidence that radiofrequency radiation from mobile phones or masts causes unpleasant symptoms. Its research programme included some of the largest and most robust studies of this question.”