Dozens of parents and neighbours of a recreation ground have signed a petition opposing a 15metre phone mast next to a nursery over health fears.

Wimbledon Guardian:

Children enjoying the outdoors play area at Willows Pre-School in Colliers Wood

Plans for the mast to be built in the recreation ground next to Willows Pre-School in Colliers Wood is in pre-planning stages.

More than 80 concerned parents of children aged between two and five have signed a petition against what they say is the potential threat of non-ionising radiation from the mast.

But their local councillor believes all available research suggests there is no long-term risk from the same kind of radiation that is emitted by the sun, mobile phones and computers.

Non-ionising radiation energises electrons, but cannot removed them from an atom or molecule.

It is commonly found in microwaves, infrared and radio waves.

Exposure can cause burns, radiation sickness, cancer, and genetic damage.

Wimbledon Guardian:

Children from the Willows Pre-School in Colliers Wood enjoy a day out

Dr Kevin Rigley, owner and manager of Willows Pre-School at Colliers Wood recreation ground, objects to the erection of a mobile phone mast near the nursery on potential health risks.

He said: "It is a relatively new technology and all of the studies have been a short time frame. We don’t know what the long-term implications are.

"The fact that they do not know means they should err on the side of caution."

Colliers Wood councillor Nick Draper played down parents’ fears and said the average person willingly exposes themselves to more concentrated forms of non-ionising radiation every day.

Coun Draper said: "The radiation that comes from a phone mast is a much, much less concentrated version of the radiation that comes out of phones themselves and out of computer screens.

"I was contacted by a parent using a mobile phone asking me to sign.

"If everyone signing the petition does so on the basis that they do not use any mobile phone or computer technology, I would be happy to sign."

Coun Andrew Judge said “We’re aware residents in Colliers Wood have complained about not being able to get a mobile phone signal and this proposal from O2 and Vodafone would help address that.

“Due to Government rules, phone masts that are 15m or below do not need planning permission.

“However we would need to be assured that there will be no visual intrusion on the park.”

Wimbledon Guardian:

The proposed site of the telecommunications mast as laid out in letters posted to residents by Pegasus Group

Bristol developers Pegasus Group is consulting residents over the "integrated telecommunications" mast, and posted letters explaining the initial pre-planning application.

It read: "The proposal will be fully compliant with standards set down by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection - an independent scientific organisation whose aim is to provide guidance and advice on the health implications of telecommunications development."

The petition can be signed at change.org