PARENTS and teachers are protesting against plans to erect a mobile phone mast near a Weymouth school.

They fear the mast’s signals could harm pupils at Holy Trinity Primary School and nursery if it is installed at the corner of Cross Road and Buxton Road.

So far, the protesters have gathered 261 signatures on a petition opposing the scheme and have won the backing of Holy Trinity’s head teacher Mark Cheesley and borough councillor Brendan Webster.

Holy Trinity governor Helen Toft, whose children left the school last month, said: “Our objection is that there’s no proof that mobile phone masts are 100 per cent safe.

“In 2007, there was a report by the Stewart group into mobile phone masts and it was recommended that they shouldn’t go up near small children because they are more susceptible to radio waves than adults.

“We’ve not dreamed this information up and it’s not a knee-jerk reaction – we are being sensible about this.”

Mum-of-four Samantha Lucken said: “I think it’s a poor site to choose when there’s so many other options than to put it next to a primary school of nearly 700 children and a nursery of nearly 140 children.

“These masts are an unknown entity at present and I think it is inappropriate to effectively experiment in the unknown with our children’s health.”

Jane Honeybun, who has a child at Holy Trinity School, added: “As far as I’m concerned there haven’t been enough tests to see what this will do to our children or anybody else.”

Holy Trinity head teacher Mark Cheeseley said he was backing parents over their concerns.

He said: “I am in total agreement with the parents and the rest of the school community, who are very much against having the mast here.

“We feel there’s enough research out there to suggest that this may well be harmful to our children.

“It will also be in an intrusive position in the street.”

Coun Brendan Webster said: “The precautionary principle is to minimise the potential for damage.

“If there is even a tiny risk, then putting a mast next to a school with hundreds of children could multiply the risk unacceptably.

“It is also understandably worrying for very many families, this damages their wellbeing too, and for that reason, I would recommend a sensitive approach.

“Until parents concerns have been ameliorated, I will be supporting them and objecting.”

Applicants O2 and Vodafone are seeking planning permission from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council to install the 17.5m monopole, housing six antennas and ancillary equipment, in a cabinet in Cross Road.

The application is being made via agent Babcock Networks of Gloucestershire.