PARENTS have raised fears over a plan by mobile phone giants to install a 15 metre high mast next to a school playing field.

A planning application for antennae and equipment cabinets in Beechcroft Road has been submitted to Swindon Council on behalf of Vodafone and Telefonica and has gone out for public consultation.

But residents and parents have said they will object because they feel that the proposed site is too close to St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School and residential areas.

There have been a number of phone mast applications shot down by the council, including proposals for Haydon Wick and Freshbrook, while another has been earmarked for Dorcan.

Resident Debbie Clifford, 35, of Davenwood, said she had looked at research on the health effects and was not convinced the masts were safe.

“I have real concerns about the long-term health issues as there are children playing on the field every day and who walk to school along Beechcroft Road too,” said the mother-of-two.

“It’s also a very small path next to a busy main road.

“I don’t know why they chose such a busy, built-up area with the school nearby when they could put it half a mile up the road in a non-residential area.”

Coun Joe Tray (Lab, St Philip), who is a governor at St Catherine’s and whose granddaughter attends the school, said: “I sent in my objection but it has been ignored and the plan has gone to the borough for planning.

“There are two trains of thought – one says they are no harm to anybody while another says they are not sure. I would rather err on the side of safety.

“I understand the pressing need for communication but they should look at places where they can be built away from schools and homes.”

Coun Sinead Darker (Con, St Philip) said: “I believe there has been some local opposition and I support the residents’ views.”

A spokesman for Vodafone said: “In order to provide the text, voice and data services so many of us rely on, we have to build our masts where people use their devices – where they live, work and travel.Our masts are low powered and devices simply won’t work if they are too far away.

“We understand some have people health concerns but independent experts like the World Health Organisation have consistently agreed there is no convincing evidence of any adverse health effects from communications masts.”

The application, reference S/TC/12/0398, can be seen at, where comments can be left.