PLANS for a new mobile phone mast in Accrington have been revealed.

Telecoms giant Vodafone has applied for planning permission to upgrade its base station at the corner of Wordsworth Road and Fern Gore Avenue and install a 17.5m tall mast.

The new mast would be installed just inches from school playing fields and just 700ft from nearby Mount Carmel High School, which has expressed its concern about the plans.

It would feature a pole housing three antennas at the top, and would replace a nearby antenna currently measuring 13.8m.

Headteacher Xavier Bowers said: “We would always want to help the community and improve where we live in lots of different ways, but I’m not too sure a mobile phone mast is the best way to do that, and I would be concerned about the impact with it being sited so close to the school.”

In planning documents, Manchester-based Mono Consultations Ltd, acting for Vodafone, said: “The proposed height is necessary to retain the continued need for both coverage and capacity of the existing networks.

“The proposed height and structure-type will also cater for future 4G coverage demands.”

It added: “We recognise the growth in mobile technology has led, in some cases, to public concern about perceived health effects of mobile technology and its deployment, in particular about siting masts close to local communities. Quite naturally, the public seeks reassurance they are not in any way harmful or dangerous.

“Vodafone and Telefonica ensure that our radio base stations are designed and operated so the public are not exposed to radio frequency fields above guidelines.”

Coun Pam Barton said she received an email from Vodafone a few months ago.

She added: “I have asked that full consultation is given to residents and the school.”