Residents protest about 'health risk' mast

PUBLISHED: 19:26 23 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 11 May 2010

Cllr Robert Smith with the Templar's Gate residents group

Cllr Robert Smith with the Templar's Gate residents group

RESIDENTS of a Royston estate are campaigning to stop the installation of potentially dangerous mobile phone antennas. A planning application to erect three antennas on street lights just off Melbourn Road has been submitted to North Herts District Counc

RESIDENTS of a Royston estate are campaigning to stop the installation of potentially dangerous mobile phone antennas.

A planning application to erect three antennas on street lights just off Melbourn Road has been submitted to North Herts District Council by mobile phone firm Vodafone.

But the Templar's Gate Residents Group is objecting to the plans.

Cllr Robert Smith, a Royston town councillor and chairman of the residents group, said:

"We can no longer trust that we are safe.

"These antennas will lead to increased radiation emissions in this area of Royston. We are extremely worried about the dangerous health risks that will be posed and the seriously adverse effects on our amenities."

The concerns of the residents centre around the type of masts being installed, which are capable of receiving the more powerful 3G signal which is used on modern mobile phones to transmit large quantities of data.

Cllr Smith said: "A number of international scientific studies show that people living within 500 metres of mobile phone masts can develop life-disrupting adverse affects, including sleep disturbance, headaches and migraines, and impairment of memory, amongst others.

"The 3G antennas at this location will result in pulsing radio frequency microwave radiation beaming out and polluting an extensive residential area of Royston."

If erected, the masts will be located within 200 metres of the cycle/footpath which is being built in 2010 as part of the Coombes Hole underpass project.

The residents have lodged a formal objection with the district council, asking that they be protected from the "insidious potential health risks".

Cllr Smith added: "We want our local environment to be as safe as possible, especially for the more vulnerable in the community. If the proposed installation goes ahead, we will feel extremely anxious about our health and safety and that of our families."

A spokesman for Vodafone said: "The proposed Vodafone radio base station is required to improve the 2G and 3G coverage to our customers in the area. This will reduce the number of dropped calls in the local area and provide our customers with access to mobile broadband with speeds similar to those offered by fixed line broadband suppliers.

"Vodafone wrote to the ward councillors and several local residents as part of its pre-application consultation for this site.

"We recognise that some communities are concerned regarding the deployment of radio base stations. All of our base stations are designed, built and operated in accordance with stringent international guidelines.

"Typical public exposures from our base stations will be many hundreds, if not thousands, of times below these guidelines.

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