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Friday, 7 September, 2001, 05:48 GMT 06:48 UK
Phone mast talks take place
Protest outside St Mary's School
An earlier protest attracted hundreds of people
A meeting is being held in an attempt to resolve a row over the siting of a mobile phone mast near a school in Essex.

Parents refused to send their children back to St Mary's RC School in Hornchurch on Wednesday, the first day of the new term.

The BT Cellnet mast was put up on nearby engineering works in early July but has yet to be turned on.

The company had planned to make it live next week but now says it will wait until the latest consultation is finished.

A meeting is taking place on Friday between BT Cellnet and officials from the local authority, the London Borough of Havering.

We have already approached a lawyer who specialises in mobile phone mast issues

Eileen Conlon
Parents' spokeswoman Eileen Conlon said: "We are watching and waiting to see what develops out of this meeting - at least BT Cellnet has agreed to discuss the alternatives."

Head teacher Michael Coy supports the protests by local people, who fear the mast is dangerous.

"The community are worried about the health of their children and are making their voice heard in the only way they can."

Hundreds of people turned out for an earlier demonstration against the mast.

Mast 'crucial'

Planning laws allow masts to be put up without special permission where the total installation is less than 15 metres high.

BT Cellnet has already said that the site is the best possible one the mast is "crucial" for the area.

Mrs Conlon said her action group would not stop its protest until the mast was moved.

"We are still looking at the possibility of going to court. We have already approached a lawyer who specialises in mobile phone mast issues."

Eileen Conlon, talking to Radio 5 Live
"We are saying 'please listen to our concerns'"
See also:

13 Aug 01 | Education
Mobile phone mast 'threatens school'
03 Apr 01 | UK Politics
MPs urge action over mobile masts
08 Dec 00 | Health
7m for mobile health research
15 Aug 00 | Scotland
Victory for phone mast protesters
30 Jun 00 | Health
Phone mast fears dismissed
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