A CAMPAIGN has been launched against plans to install a mobile phone mast just yards from a pre-school.

Vodafone UK Ltd wants to put up the 15 metre-high mast at the old tennis courts at Cherry Tree Cricket Club, Blackburn.

But bosses at Cherry Tree Pre-School, which operates at the adjacent Woodlands United Reform Church, have started a petition against the proposals.

Highlighting concerns over the health risks related to mobile phone masts, they said their priority was to protect their children.

In addition, they said they feared it would deter parents from enrolling their children at the pre-school and have a detrimental effect on their business.

The 43-year-old pre-school operates at the church Monday to Friday and caters for 56 chidlren aged two-to-four.

Justine Gavahan, who runs it, said: “It would be right outside our window. We have got a petition, which we are asking parents to sign, and we have written a letter to the planning officer, we are very much against the plan.

"There isn’t any proof that mobile phone masts are dangerous, but there isn’t anything that disproves that either.”

The monopole would accommodate six 3G antennas on a shared headframe, giving the structure an overall height of 18.2 metres.

Livesey with Pleasington Coun Derek Hardman said it had been Government advice for a number of years that masts should not be located close to schools.

The proposals are expected to be put before Blackburn with Darwen’s Planning and Highways Committee.