SIRC – Media Watch 30-04-99
More Phoney Fears
Government plans to give fast tracking approval to the construction of phone masts have been obstructed this week by a judicial review. This has found the Department of the Environment's decision-making process to have been flawed. In the wake of the recent scares concerning mobile phones the transmitter masts themselves are now coming under attack. In an attempt to offer comprehensive, nationwide services there could soon be up to 14,500 transmitter masts across the country. Based upon the perceived health risk of emissions and encouraged by precedents set in New Zealand and the US, local campaigns have been launched throughout Britain to create exclusion zones around hospitals, schools and residential areas. Margaret Dean, founder of Northern Ireland Families Against Telecommunications Transmitters greeted the judicial decision as "a huge boost for our campaign. We are not opposed to masts or mobile phones but we are opposed to putting them so close to people's homes and schools." Once again we bear witness to a minority pressure group successfully lobbying government over an issue for which there is no tangible evidence of risk. With no scientific proof, their concerns are voiced in an all too familiar language that justifies their tirade under the guise of the 'protection of our children'.