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folders lane mobile phone mastProposed 4G Mobile Phone Mast Sparks Health Fears For Local School Children

5th May 2016
by Peter Chapman

There are concerns that a proposed 4G mobile phone mast to be sited at the junction of Kings Way and Folders Lane could cause health issues for local school children.

The application for the new mast has come from the Harlequin group. It will provide increased 4G coverage for Vodafone and Telefónica (02). The mast, to be installed at ground level, would be 15 metres high, featuring 3 antennas and 2 equipment cabinets.

Public Reaction
16 letters of rejection have been received by MSDC from members of the public, many referencing health fears, how a 15 metre high mast would dwarf everything else in the area along with claims that the applicant has not carried out proper local consultation in accordance with the council's guidelines.

Neither Birchwood Grove Primary School or the Woodlands Meed College site have been consulted.

Many local residents living in the immediate area where the mast is due to be sited have complained that they've not received the statutory planning notices from the council. In fact, the proposed site itself was devoid of a public notice when your reporter went to have a look this afternoon.

The site of the proposed phone mast is right by this crossing on the north side of Folders lane, a few metres down the road from the junction with Kings Way

In a representation letter to the District Council Planning Department, Professor Adrian J. Bone wrote:

There are good scientific reasons why energy emitting structures such a mobile phone masts are not located as ground installations in the middle of built up residential areas containing schools, play areas and family homes.

The evidence base of the health threat posed by such installations is growing and should inform organisations such as an elected District Council about decisions as to where and how to allow communication companies to expand their networks.

For most in their decision making process should be the requirement to carry out a full and independent risk assessment. I am certainly not satisfied that this has been done in the case of the current Planning Application.

I should therefore like to object in the strongest possible terms to this application until a proper risk assessment has been carried out and the results fully disseminated to the residents and regular users of the area.

In their application, the Harlequin group have referenced a report from the National Radiological Protection Board in January 2005 which states that there is no scientific bases for siting base stations away from schools.

The applicants also state that they have not consulted with the council over other possible sites in the town, saying that they'd either provide insufficient radio coverage and / or the requirement of a much larger mast that would prove to have a substantial negative impact on the local community.

Closing Date For Comments To The Planning Department
The closing date to make comments to Mid Sussex District Council's Planning Department is Friday 6th May, so you need to act quick if you share the concerns of the potential affect on the public's health if the mast gains approval.

Look up application number DM/16/1533 on the MSDC planing portal here: https://pa.midsussex.gov.uk/online-applications

Spread the word. A 15 metre high mobile phone mast is proposed to be sited near 2 local schools.

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Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below....
Do you think that a 15 metre high mobile phone mast should be erected in a residential area, and so close to two schools? Will you welcome better 4G coverage on the Vodafone and O2 networks at the expense of possible adverse health effects?

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