Villagers’ worry over phone mast risks to health

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Villagers are fighting a proposal to put up a 45-foot high mobile phone mast in Stoke by Clare.

Phone company Telefonica has applied for planning permission for the mast on land at Stoke by Clare Equestrian Centre, in The Street.

Resident Ross Norman says villagers have had seven days to object to the proposal, now before St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

After circulating his own views to other villagers, Mr Ross said he received 30 replies from residents who are also objecting to the plans for the mast, which he says is close to the Stoke by Clare independent college.

He said: “Where a mast is to be installed on or near a school or college it is important that operators discuss the proposed development with the relevant body of the school or college concerned before submitting an application for planning permission.

“We do not want our children in Stoke By Clare to be a cancer statistic.”

Mr Norman, who lives in Green Farm House in The Street, says he believes the masts come with health risks.

“Unlike television waves and radio waves from other telecommunication units whose waves are continuous, mobile phone emissions pulse.

“The frequency at which they pulse closely resembles the frequency of the electrical pulses of the brain. It is suggested that this is why there are increased reports of epilepsy, depression, headaches and migraines in communities and schools that have masts. The proposed position is very close to the village school and to land owned by the school. The National Radiological Protection Board advises a precautionary approach to siting masts near schools. Do Telefonica know better than them?”

Mr Norman said the mast was being put up by Telefonica on behalf of O2 and, according to O2’s website, there was excellent mobile coverage in Stoke by Clare so he was not sure why the mast was needed.

He added: “The proposed mast will be within parkland in which there are many bats. It is well known that mobile phone mast emissions affect the sonar of these animals and therefore carry a very real threat to them.”

In a report to the council Telefonica said it was proposing the mast to provide enhanced mobile coverage for the area, and the chosen site was well screened by trees. The report said: “It is considered the benefits of the proposal outweigh the visual impact on the area.”

Current research has found no evidence of mobile phone mast waves harming public health, within guideline limits.