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Phone mast by Ludworth Primary School

Diane Inglis

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Mobile phone mastLudworth Primary SchoolMarple BridgeVictoria WalkerClarke Telecom

A proposal to erect a 12.5 metre high mobile phone mast and associated equipment immediately next to Ludworth Primary School in Marple Bridge has met with opposition from the school and local residents.

The proposal by Clarke Telecom, on behalf of Telefonica Telecommunications Company, includes the installation of a mast with three antennae and two equipment cabinets on the land at the entrance to the school on Lower Fold.

The company states that a new radio base station is needed in the area to provide new 4G services while improving 2G and 3G coverage in the vicinity, to meet government priorities for network improvements.

The site has been chosen as a prime spot and a letter to Ludworth Primary School from Clarke Telecom seeks comments on the installation prior to any application for planning permission being submitted. 

Ludworth headteacher, Mrs Victoria Walker, told the Review: “We were informed about the possible siting of a 4G mast outside the school. 

“At this stage, myself, the governing body and parents have objected to the proposal. We hope that Telefonica, which has been offered a number of alternatives, will reconsider putting planning permission in to the local authority.”

Similarly, Phil Cooke, vice chairman of Marple Bridge Association, has also registered his objections to the proposal.

Mr Cooke said: “The school and a number of local residents have already objected to the erection of a mast right next to the school.

“While it is not allowed to object to phone masts on health grounds as a link has not been proven, this is a totally inappropriate location, by the school and on the edge of the conservation area.

“There are still many reports suggesting masts could cause health problems and even if the risk is very small, children are extremely vulnerable and it is not a risk we should be taking.

“It could also pose visibility issues when parents drop off and collect children from school and could affect the marketability of the nearby houses,” he said.

Mr Cooke has suggested that there are more suitable venues in Marple Bridge, including the car park opposite the entrance to Brabyns Park.

Anyone interested in more information can view the proposal and plan drawings on Marple Bridge Association website at www.marplebridge.co.uk