Two more Members of the UK Parliament believe in the precautionary principle and raise concerns about phone masts this week, see details below.
Edward Timpson (Crewe and Nantwich, Conservative)
In both Nantwich and Crewe, and in the surrounding rural areas, many people feel strongly that the current planning system is not on their side, particularly when it comes to wind turbines, mobile phone masts and overdevelopment. Can my right hon. Friend tell me what the Government are doing to improve the situation?
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Nicholas Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council; Sheffield, Hallam, Liberal Democrat)
The basic principle is that we want people to feel that they have a stake in the planning system rather than feeling that things are being done to them. That is why, in the Localism Bill and in further measures that we wish to take, we are introducing new powers enabling local communities and neighbourhoods to determine for themselves what kind of decisions they want to be pursued in their areas, if necessary by triggering local referendums. For too long planning has been obscure, difficult to understand, very technocratic and highly over-centralised, and that is what we will be trying to change in the coming years.
LOCAL LIB DEMS OPPOSE MOBILE MAST PLANS IN BRAMHALL
March 1, 2011 3:07 PM
Local MP Mark Hunter has joined forces with Bramhall Councillor Helen Foster-Grime in a campaign against the plans to build a mobile phone mast on North Park Road, Bramhall. The proposed mast would be located in a densely populated residential area less than 200 metres from Neville Road Infant School, just feet from the local shops.
Mr Hunter has written both to the Head of Planning Services in Stockport and the company planning to build the mast to highlight residents concern at the potential danger of operating a mobile phone mast site so close to peoples' homes.
In 2000 a Government report from the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) stated that the potential risk of mobile phone mast radiation would be greater for children and that therefore masts should be built away from schools and heavily populated areas wherever possible.
Commenting, Mark said:
"It is simply unacceptable to build a mobile phone mast in this location.
"In this day and age where nearly everybody has a mobile phone, masts are clearly necessary and have to go somewhere but in my view they should always be sited away from schools, homes, and shops wherever possible.
"I have long been a supporter of the 'precautionary principle' and it seems to me sensible to avoid locating telephone masts in heavily populated areas, and particularly to avoid siting them near schools where there will obviously be many young children present.
"Helen Foster-Grime has long been an ardent campaigner against phone masts being put up in inappropriate locations and I will be working alongside her to encourage this company to think again."
Director, EM Radiation Research Trust www.radiationresearch.org
Board member - International EMF Alliance www.iemfa.org