Heads' concerns over phone masts

PUBLISHED: 12:57 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:09 06 May 2010

The phone masts

The phone masts

TWO headteachers have expressed concern about phone masts erected near their schools. Phone networks 02 and Orange have both installed cypress tree masts, measuring more than 20 metres in height, on land north west of Wyevale Garden Centre, in Cambridge R

TWO headteachers have expressed concern about phone masts erected near their schools.

Phone networks 02 and Orange have both installed cypress tree masts, measuring more than 20 metres in height, on land north west of Wyevale Garden Centre, in Cambridge Road, Hitchin.

The masts are near to St Thomas More RC Primary School and Highfield School, both in Letchworth GC.

Planning permission for both masts was applied for in 2004, and despite strong opposition, were given the go-ahead the same year.

Mary Hewitson, headteacher of St Thomas More School, said: "I think we would continue to be extremely concerned about the safety of phone masts in such close proximity to the school.

"The concern will be there until we know categorically there are no health and safety issues relating to our pupils."

Jane Winterbone, headteacher of Highfield School, said: "I am, of course, most concerned about the possible health risks posed by mobile phone masts in close vicinity to schools.

"We will be monitoring the situation closely."

* Planning permission for a mast on the longabout in Letchworth Gate has been turned down. Vodafone's application was refused on the grounds of its "intrusive visual impact" and safety concerns for those needing to gain access to the mast to carry out maintenance.

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