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Aigburth boys academy fights phone mast plan

Vodaphone's 58ft structure jumps school rules on other side of fence

Written by . Published on February 18th 2014.

Aigburth boys academy fights phone mast plan

STAFF and pupils at a leading Liverpool high school have urged the city council’s planning committee to reject plans for a 58ft high mobile phone mast on the grass verge outside their school.

Although the council continues to ban phone companies from placing masts within educational premises and on council premises, the rule does not apply on the other side of school fences.

The prohibition was imposed by the council some years ago amid concerns over the risks to health of exposing children to radiation emitted by mobile phone technology.

Scientists are divided on the issue, leading to calls for a cautionary approach to be applied.

Despite the plea from St Margaret’s Academy in Aigburth Road, council planning managers are urging the planning committee to approve the application by Vodafone at its meeting on Tuesday(February 18).

It means the mast will be just a few feet away from the school’s busy playing fields.

The principal of St Margaret’s Church of England Academy,  Stephen Brierley, has objected on behalf of governors, staff and pupils at the school. He says the school considered a mast on their own land but took professional advice regarding the risk to health of staff and students but were unable to secure an assurance that there would be no risk in the future.

“There is therefore uncertainty of health and safety concerns relating to 1200 members of the school when on the sports field which is immediately adjacent to the proposed mast,” says the head teacher.

Mossley Hill Lib Dem Councillor Tina Gould has also objected to the mast, along with nine local residents, citing risks to health of mobile phone waves.

St Maragaret School Phone Mast Row Liverpool %281%29

In 2012 planning officers turned down an application for the existing nearby mast, but the decision was overturned on appeal to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

In a report to this week’s meeting planning managers say current rules make it almost impossible to reject applications for phone masts on health grounds if  installations comply with laid down levels for the level of non ionising radiation emitted. The proposed mast complies with the regulations.

A spokesman for Liverpool City Council said: “It is still our policy not to allow mobile phone masts on council buildings or school premises”

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousFebruary 18th 2014.

I wonder how much money the council is giving up each year by not having masts on its premisis? think of the extra cash from the rental and how many LED street lights it could pay for.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 18th 2014.

But LED street lights blind our children and microwaves cause scrofula.

AnonymousFebruary 18th 2014.

The Council is missing out on money it could be making by sending its school pupils up chimneys for the private sector.

AnonymousFebruary 18th 2014.

Academies aren't part of the local authority anyway. That's why they cost so much more to run and the Conservatives love them. Michael Gove thinks that proper, qualified teachers are all dangerous Marxists.

John BradleyFebruary 19th 2014.

I object to the idea that "Michael Gove thinks"

AnonymousFebruary 19th 2014.

Fair enough. i take that back

scouse690February 20th 2014.

Anyone know the outcome of the meeting on Tuesday?

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