Plans have been submitted for a phone mast disguised as a flagpole to be installed on a church whose history can be traced back to the era of the Domesday Book.
Plans have been submitted to Richmond Borough Council by Vodafone, for St Mary’s Church in Barnes, South West London, to have the work done.
Joyce Morgan, a local social biologist is sceptical of Vodafone’s claims that there is no risk to health from the equipment to be used. Vodafone say that the equipment follows strict international guidelines.
“I did a study of radiation [before] and as far as I know nothing has been proved that this radiation coming from these things are not harmless to human beings,” Mrs Morgan claimed. “Until they prove they are harmless I think they shouldn’t be erected.”
If the work does go ahead, the Grade II listed church will still be able to use the flagpole for flags, with the flagpole looking only slightly larger than normal.
A spokesman from Vodafone explained:
“All of our base stations are designed, built and operated in accordance with stringent international guidelines laid down by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. The adoption of these guidelines has the formal backing of independent bodies such as the World Health Organisation.”