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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Families Vow to Stop Darras Hall O2 Phone Mast

FAMILIES fighting plans to put up a mobile phone mast near homes and a school say they are even more determined to succeed following a visit by a leading radiation expert.
Hundreds of parents and other local residents have opposed two separate bids by Telefonica O2 to erect the mast on The Broadway in Darras Hall, Northumberland – both of which have been rejected by county councillors. 02 – which is currently considering its next move – has gained planning permission by default for a site outside the local primary school, after the council failed to make its decision within the required timescale earlier this year.
Now campaigners say their resolve to win the fight has been strengthened after around 200 local people attended a public meeting in Ponteland Memorial Hall, addressed by academic and author Barrie Trower.
Mr Trower, a scientific adviser to the Radiation Research Trust, outlined his serious concerns about research carried out into the public health impacts of radiation from telecommunications masts. He told the audience there are no known safe levels of microwaves for children, and gave evidence about 200 alleged cancer clusters in schools which have transmitters near them.
Mr Trower also referred to research which suggests that microwaves can change DNA in cells, with the possibility that children can carry genetic faults.
Yesterday businessman Ian McLean, who lives in The Drey, Darras Hall, and has a child at the first school, said: “We were delighted with the turnout and at the end of the meeting we held a vote. Not a single person was in favour of having a mast on Broadway.
“Barrie Trower presented some very disturbing and worrying evidence and research, which has been peer-reviewed. We would beg O2 to take the precautionary route and not make us part of a giant experiment.
“They should be taking their mast away from a residential area and the school. Following the meeting, people are even more determined to fight this proposal.”
Mr Trower told The Journal that local referendums should be held over plans to site phone masts near people’s homes, with the results binding on both the local community and the proposed developer.
“If a local population says we think this is too dangerous then nobody should force a mast on them.
“I don’t think it will ever happen, because there is too much money involved,’’ he added.
02 says all of its installations conform with guidelines from the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. “The World Health Organisation has issued a factsheet summarising research to date and its conclusion was that there is no risk to people’s health as a result of living near mobile phone base stations,” it adds.
Source: Journal Live