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Concerns over wireless radiation almost scupper Aberdeenshire rural broadband plans

Councillors in Buchan, Aberdeenshire, have narrowly approved plans to site a wireless internet mast near a primary school.

But the plans were almost sunk after an objection by one of the councillors. SNP councillor for Central Buchan Jim Ingram told local newspaper the Buchan Observer that he was “disappointed to see this being proposed for schools.”

“I would have been very concerned about the impact of microwaves, especially at schools and nurseries near infants,” said Buchan.

“I believe these things are subject to interpretation and my interpretation is this is a danger to public health.”

The planning application from Aberdeenshire Council was accepted by five votes to four. A report on the application said there was no danger from radiation. Planners told the council planning meeting that the masts for superfast broadband were not to be likened to mobile phone masts.

SNP councillor for Peterhead North and Rattray Fiona McRae proposed the mast’s erection and said over the last 20 years technology had “moved on” and health concerns do not apply. Plans were approved by five votes to four.

Approval for another phone mast, this time in a conservation area, was deferred at the meeting while applicants look at other potential sites.

Image: Geograph/Iain Smith

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