POWERLINES may be a thing of the past over Swindon homes after charity Children with Leukaemia met with council bosses to discuss their dangers.

The charity, set up 22 years ago, claims that powerlines emitting extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields (ELF EMF) create a 70 per cent increased risk of leukaemia in children.

As a result the organisation is campaigning against the structures being built over homes, instead calling on powerlines to be buried underground.

It’s a cause adopted by new North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson who met with members of the charity and Swindon Council leader Coun Rod Bluh on Wednesday to discuss the campaign.

“Swindon is already leading the way with innovative housing such as Kevin McCloud’s development at Gorse Hill and we all know that plans like this are much better implemented at the start of something than with retrospect so I think this is something the council has taken great interest in,” he said.

“Moving powerlines underground is bound to be something many developers say cannot be done.

“If we take on board what children with leukaemia have to say then I think we can show the country that yes it can be done because we have done it.”

Coun Bluh said: “I very much support the campaign, even if the health risk hasn’t been proven because this is something that is reasonable cause for concern.

“If that cause for concern is there, we should do what we can to prevent it becoming an issue.

“I have raised the matter with our planning department and although there doesn’t seem to be an issue of overhead powerlines with any current developments we will take the issue into account when it comes to future developments.”

Children with Leukaemia was set up in memory of Paul O’Gorman, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 14.

But while waiting for a bone marrow transplant, Paul contracted a virus and his condition deteriorated.

Paul died in February 1987, just 12 weeks after his initial diagnosis. Before his death, Paul begged his parents Eddie and Marion to help other children with leukaemia in the hopes that some day a cure would be found.

But just nine months after his death, Paul’s sister Jean, 20, died of cancer.

Her death came just days after the newly launched charity celebrated its first fundraising event – the Paul O’Gorman Banquet and Ball.

The Paul O’Gorman Foundation for Children with Leukaemia was inaugurated on January 12, 1988, by Diana Princess of Wales with a goal of funding research into a cure for the disease.

Caroline Hampden-White, head of campaigns for the charity, said: “Extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields cause a 70 per cent increased risk of cancer and exposure to this is highly preventable.

“We want to work with developers to have powerlines run underground therefore reducing this exposure.”