|Frith Youth Centre|
by Melissa Jones, gloucestershirelive.co.uk,
16 August 2017
Stroud District Council approved the application for Frith Youth Centre
Parents are up in arms about a mobile phone mast which they say could harm the lives of their children.
The plans have been passed by Stroud District Council for the facility in the grounds of Frith Youth Centre, adjacent to Bussage playing field.
A registered charity which exists to provide a wide range of activities for local young people including various classes, the centre has permission to install the 24-metre mast yards from where children play.
More than 100 people signed a petition against the proposal, with their main concerns being the health impact, the surrounding countryside being AONB land and the negative visual element.
"The mast will destroy a bastion of microwave frequency free land for young children and the natural world to thrive, let's keep it a safe haven for the health of generations to come," said a message on the petition site to its backers.
The plans were approved without a public meeting to gauge the weight of opinion in both directions.
A recent meeting of Chalford Parish Council heard Cllr Paul Lily carried out substantial research into health risks associated with masts and confirmed it is not one with especially strong emissions.
However, similar plans in Painswick were recently rejected after public consultation.
"In my book if you want access to public money then you should try to act in accordance with majority public opinion," said one resident opposing the Frith Youth Centre project.
There have been health concerns over phone masts for years.
In 2011, the World Health Organisation /International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans based on an increased risk for a malignant type of brain cancer.
The Trustees of The Frith Youth Centre issued this statement: "We have agreed in principle to sign the contract with CILT for the mobile phone mast subject to further negotiation.
"The Trustees realise this will disappoint those who are unhappy about the mast, but having considered carefully the claims of the campaigners, the Trustees have concluded the interests of The Frith Youth Centre and the wider community are best served by signing the contract."