Hellesdon school head protests against phone mast plans

Controversial proposals for a phone mast just a stone's throw away from an infant school moved a step closer to fruition this week.

Vodafone's draft plans for the 12.5m-high structure in Reepham Road, Hellesdon, were approved by Broadland's planning committee on Wednesday.

The plans will see the mast built just 0.26 miles away from Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School and on a route used by children walking to other nearby schools.

It will be the second phone mast put up in the area which also has a tall multi-mast nearby.

In a letter objecting to the proposals, Daniel Thrower, head at the Cottinghams Drive school, said: 'If the recommended distance for any mast is 0.25 miles away from a school, I would suggest that the site of this mast is questionable and should be viewed with some reservations.

'Such a planning 'loop hole' would still potentially leave children at our school vulnerable to any dangers connected to this mast.

'There seems to be a proliferation of masts to the north east/north west wards of Hellesdon. All of these could already be having detrimental effects on the health of local residents and children who live within the vicinity of these masts.'

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Back in 2008, Broadland council refused O2 permission to build a mast on the site and referred the company to another location 600m away.

Broadland's planning officers said the prior approval application submitted was 'acceptable' in planning terms.

Are you fighting plans for a phone mast in your community? Call Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk