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Essex:
United Kingdom Created: 10 Jul 2005
Mass protest at plan to put mast near school

PROTESTORS turned out in force to oppose plans to build a new mobile phone mast near a primary school.
Two hundred teachers and parents of children at Manuden Primary School braved heavy rain to take part in a demonstration and wave placards outside
the school, in The Street, on Monday.
The campaigners are concerned about the health implications of mobile phone company Orange's plans to install the mast at Bentfield Bury Farm,
just 350 metres away from the school.
One mother, who did not wish to be named, has a child starting at the pre-school, which is on the same site, in September.
She feared the signal emitting from the mast increased the risk of anyone living or working near it getting cancer, and could not understand why
Orange wanted to site the pole there when there was plenty of countryside nearby where it could be placed away from residential areas.
An application for an alternative site in a more rural area had been turned down because some rare plants needed protecting, but she did not think
environmental concerns should come before the potential health risks to the schoolchildren.
She said: "There are fields for miles around that village with nobody near. There is absolutely no reason to put the mast near the school."
Linda Talbot, the school's headteacher, quoted the Stewart Report conducted by the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones, which was set up by
the government to assess the possible health effects from mobile phones, base stations and transmitters.
This concluded that it was not possible to say that exposure to radiation from the Radio Frequency emissions from the masts was totally
without potentially adverse health effects.
It recommended that if a mast was sited within or near school grounds then the strongest signal should not fall on any part of the school.
The headteacher also believed the company had deliberately timed the submission of the application for approval by Uttlesford District Council to
coincide with the summer holidays so there would be less opposition as parents would be away.
She said: "If this is approved, it will be a disaster for the school and the village."
Orange is planning to build the mast, which will stand 20 metres high and have six antennae, four dishes and six pack equipment cabinets.
The company needs to boost the signal in the area around Manuden and can not place it in a more rural location because the signal would not reach
the homes.
An Orange spokeswoman said the mast had to be placed on higher ground in order to cover the village because it was in a valley and the Bentfield Bury
Farm site was one of two sites being considered in Manuden.
But the company chose the former because it was further away from residential homes and screened from view by trees.
"Many people view mobile technology as a new invention and believe that we should be cautious until we know what the effects may be.
"However, mobile phones are just a new way of using old technology. RF has been around for over 40 years and there are many other forms of RF in
our environment whether we are at home, in a classroom or outside.
"The mobile phone handsets themselves emit a signal 24/7 whether they are in use or not as they are constantly searching for the nearest mast to
communicate with," the spokeswoman said.
Orange's plans will be considered for approval by the district council's development control commmittee in September
25 August 2005 | 10:37 Affron Walden Reporter (Essex)
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Waltham Forest
Joy as bid for mast is rejected

RESIDENTS were delighted when plans to build a mobile phone mast in Chingford were thrown out by councillors.
The application from T Mobile to erect the 11.7 metre high mast on Highways Agency land next to the traffic roundabout in Waltham Way was turned down by the planning committee.
Colleen Montgomery, a local resident, told the meeting: "This area is residential and there are a lot of bungalows that do not stand very tall. If this mast goes ahead it will not be bungalow land', it will be mobile mast land'."
Councillors are unable to turn down any application for a mobile phone mast on health grounds, but agreed it would have a detrimental impact on the street scene and would represent street clutter
By Jenny Clarke Waltham Forest GuardianSaturday 23rd July 2005

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Maldon: PHONE MASTS BID

Two mobile phone mast applications will be discussed on Monday by Maldon District Council.
The first was submitted by Hutchison 3G and would be sited at Grange Farm, in Lower Burnham Road, Latchingdon It would include a 17.5m mast
and electronic telecommunications base station.
North Fambridge could house the second, put forward by Orange Personal Communications Ltd.
They have applied for permission to install a 22m monopole telecommunications mast with six antenna and four transmission dishes
within a 6x6m compound.
The applications go before the council's north-western area planning committee.
Essex Gazette. - 04 August 2005

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Mast is 'insensitive'

RESIDENTS are furious over plans to put a phone mast twice the height of a lamppost within metres of their homes and a school.
Householders around Chigwell Rise, Chigwell, have slammed T-mobile over proposals to install a 14.7m-high aerial, but because it is under 15m it does
not require planning permission.
Graham Lancaster, of Chester Road, said: "When I heard about it, I thought it was a joke. It's totally inappropriate to have it so close to a residential area
and the school. If you had to think of the most insensitive place to put a mast, you would choose here."
Mr Lancaster claimed residents had not been properly consulted and he was only notified by a letter addressed "to the occupier."
He assumed it was junk mail and almost threw it away. He said only two other neighbours had received a letter.
"I really am furious that something so important in terms of impact is dealt with in that way. I've lived here for 20 years, yet suddenly I'm an unnamed occupier'."
The mast would be sited on the corner of Chigwell Rise and Chester Road, on land which Epping Forest District Council believes is owned by Essex County Council.
Mr Lancaster called the area "the green lung" of Chigwell and added he was fearful for the health of residents and pupils at the nearby
Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College.
He questioned why the company could not share a mast with other networks, or why it could not be sited on a building.
He added: "There are two on the M11 about 100m away. If I'd approached the local authority to put a flagpole in my back garden they wouldn't stop laughing.
This will be seen for miles around."
The residents have instructed solicitors to represent their interests.
T-Mobile said it understood there were often concerns when locating masts, but a spokesman said:
"Without a network of base stations, mobile phones simply do not work."
She added: "We will always try to share masts with other networks, where possible.
"When our agents go to look for sites all considerations are taken into account. When a new mast is needed we try to reduce the impact on the
local environment with sensitive siting, innovative design and where appropriate landscaping.
"Based on over 40 years of research, we're confident our base stations do not present a health risk to any member of the public."
Other sites, including Victory Hall, the Metropolitan Police Sports Club and the golf club, were ruled out because the landowner refused permission
or there was signal interference.
A district council spokesman said: "As the mast is under 15m it does not require planning permission as T-Mobile is a statutory undertaker.
"What it does require is prior approval from us and this is where we currently are.
"We cannot refuse permission as such, all we can do is object to their siting on aesthetic and street scene grounds."
By Jane Wharton Eping Forest Guardian 25.07.05

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Volunteers needed for phone mast study

Researchers studying whether mobile phone masts affect health need your help.
The team from the University of Essex, UK, is conducting the largest ever study into the impact of emissions from the masts, both conventional and third generation (3G), on health.
The researchers from the Department of Psychology are now starting their testing programme on 132 ‘control' volunteers, who have not reported any
symptoms or sensitivity to the electromagnetic fields emitted by masts. They need to hear from members of the public aged 35 to 60 who are willing to be
tested on four separate occasions.
Principal investigator Professor Elaine Fox said: ‘There is widespread public concern about the emissions from mobile phone masts, but there is a shortage
of hard evidence based on large-scale studies.
‘Our testing programme sets out to establish conclusively what symptoms are suffered, and how common the occurrence of electromagnetic
hypersensitivity is in the general population. To obtain this vital evidence, we need volunteers who are prepared to give their time to be tested under
controlled conditions.'
Testing of electromagnetic hypersensitivity sufferers has already begun, although more volunteers in this group are also needed. Professor Fox said:
‘We recognise how difficult it is for hypersensitivity sufferers to submit themselves to our testing programme. However, the results could aid medical
recognition of the condition to the benefit of future sufferers.'
Volunteers will be tested in the specially-designed, electrically-screened, Electromagnetics and Health (EMH) laboratory at the University of Essex in
Colchester. Each of the four sessions, spaced at least one week apart, lasts approximately two hours. Testing takes place over the next 12 months.
To volunteer, or for further information, please contact the research team on 1206 873784, e-mail ehstudy@essex.ac.uk, or see
essex.ac.uk/psychology/EHS
The two-year £328,000 research project is being funded by the Government and industry under the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research
Programme. The research team has already surveyed 20,000 people in Essex and Suffolk to find out what proportion reported sensitivity to electromagnetic fields, and to establish key symptoms of this sensitivity. The results of this phase of the project are due to be published in the autumn.
For further information, or to arrange to interview one of the researchers, please contact the Public Relations Office
on +44 (0)1206 872400,
email proffice@essex.ac.uk
Reference URL
essex.ac.uk/psychology/EHS
SOURCE: http://www.alphagalileo.org
15 Jul 2005
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Witham.
ANGER AT PHONE MAST SITE CLOSE TO SCHOOLS
Hundreds of Witham people today hit out at plans to build a mobile phone mast on a crowded estate near two schools.
More than 400 residents from the proposed site off Spa Road, opposite Powers Hall Junior and Infant Schools, have signed a petition begging
Braintree District Council to do all it can to refuse planning permission for the 14 metre high mast.
Now Suzanne Bartley, head of the junior school, has added her objections.
She and the chairman of governors, Margaret Galione, a district councillor, have written a letter of objection to the phone company Hutchison 3G, reminding them of the proximity of the schools to the proposed site.
"This is of great concern to both schools," said Mrs Bartley.
"The tower would be extremely close to us, definitely too close for comfort.
It seems very strange to put it in the middle of an estate and close to two schools which have about 700 children on one site here.
I hate to think how many more live nearby.
"I am sure there must be another site which would serve the area without causing this very great concern to us and the other residents."
The petition, which is still growing, has been raised by Brian and Brenda Bunn, of Brain Road, who live 15ft from the proposed site between
Eden Close and Avon Walk.
"It's such a daft place to put it," he said. "It's ludicrous to try to build it in the middle of an estate when there are so many open spaces around,
like next to a railway bank or in a field.
Support is building up day by day."
Simon Gurden, of Eden Road, on the other side of the site, is worried about the health of his one-year-old daughter, Coral.
A second child is on the way.
"There is no hard proof that the radiation from these masts is safe, particularly for small children.
It would also look extremely ugly."
A spokesman for Hutchison 3G said their technology complied with the latest safety standards, and the company was satisfied the mast
would blend in with the surroundings.
The application for planning permission will be discussed by district councillors within the next month.
The case follows similar situations in Hatfield Peverel and Feering, where residents have opposed masts and called on councillors for help.
Planning chief Les Mitchell said it was possible to refuse permission, but phone companies were free to appeal.
"Technically, radiation from the aerials is not a reason to refuse planning permission, but we are told to be sensitive to health concerns."
Witham Town Council's planning committee recommended on Monday evening that permission for the mast be refused.
Members felt it would be detrimental to neighbouring amenities and an unsightly intrusion into the street scene.
Essex Gazette. JOHN PEACHEY. 09 June 2005
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Battle over the mobile masts
FOLLOWING the Guardian's report on the fight against new Third Generation mobile phone technology, health researchers are asking for human "guinea pigs" to expose themselves to microwave emissions.
Last week, the Guardian revealed the fight of local residents against a 3G mast, which T-mobile wants to erect just 150 metres away from Oakdale Infants and Junior School in South Woodford.
Protesting parents were alarmed after a Dutch study, the only one undertaken so far into this new technology, exposed its potential dangers to health.
Now, the Electromagnetics and Health Laboratory at the University of Essex is carrying out the largest research project of its kind into the impact of electromagnetic fields transmitted by mobile phones and 3G masts.
It is looking for volunteers willing to expose themselves to electromagnetic signals from conventional mobile phone base stations and 3G masts.
Project head Professor Elaine Fox said: "There have been a number of cases where people claim they're particularly sensitive to radio frequency electromagnetic fields and have experienced severe health effects from mobile phones and base stations. This is known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome."
Professor Fox said one of the key problems was a lack of guidelines on the symptoms of the syndrome.
The two-year study will be welcomed by many residents in Wanstead and Woodford who have been campaigning against the numbers of mobile phone masts being installed in the borough. The new 3G masts have caused even more concern.
In November, Conservative councillors in neighbouring borough Waltham Forest called for health effects to be investigated and agreed to seek cross-party support for an investigation into the raft of mobile phone mast planning applications in the pipeline.
Already there are over 80 mobile phone masts in Redbridge, but that number could increase to well over 100 if current applications are given the go-ahead in the coming months. No-one knows how many of these may be 3G masts because the mobile phone companies do not have to say.
Volunteers will be exposed alternately to electromagnetic signals from conventional mobile phone base stations and 3G masts, and to no signals at all.
Participants will be tested on four separate occasions, and neither the experimenters nor the volunteers will know when the base station is switched on or off.
The £328,00 study is being funded by the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme and each test takes two-and-a-half hours and they are held in four weekly sessions.
The university will pay £20 per session plus expenses and is hoping to test around 240 people. Anyone interested should log on to www.essex.ac.uk./psychology.EHS.
l In last week's feature on 3G mobile phone masts, the Redbridge Council comment should have said that mobile phone companies do not have to tell the council how many 3G masts are in the pipeline. We apologise for any confusion.
11:00am Thursday 10th February 2005

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