GOVERNORS at a primary school are opposing plans to build a mobile phone mast nearby, citing safety concerns.

Nigel Hookway, headteacher of Highwoods Community Primary School in Tynedale Square, Colchester, said Vodafone’s proposed mast would be too close to the school and would also be too tall.

The phone company has applied to Colchester Council for permission to put up the 57ft mast at the junction of Eastwood Drive and Highclere Road.

Mr Hookway said Government guidance was for masts not be sited within 200 metres of a school and this was only 150 metres away, with a local nursery even closer than his school.

He added: “After speaking to the governing body, we are objecting to the phone mast.

“We see this as a potential risk.

“It is also 57ft and with the antenna on top could reach 65ft, so we are not happy with the proposal.”

Mr Hookway pointed out the mast would be on a main thoroughfare used by children to get several local schools and only about 260ft from a nursery.

He said: “I can’t see how they could have picked a worse place. Also, I would have thought there were enough phone masts in the area already.

“I have spoken to staff who are on the Vodafone or O2 network and they say the signal is already fine.”

In Vodafone’s application, the firm says it takes seriously public concerns about the dangers of radio signals and electromagnetic fields on children. However, it points to the majority of scientific research which dismisses the risks.