YEOVIL MP David Laws is supporting a new Bill that aims to bring mobile phone masts under strict planning control and bring in the 'precautionary principle', giving extra safeguards for schools, homes, and medical facilities from the risk of excessive radiation.

The Bill has been presented to Parliament by LibDem Shadow Local Government Secretary, Andrew Stunell, and it challenges the government to change the law to give local communities more control over where telephone masts are sited.

Mr Laws said: "The positioning of phone masts has upset many people in Somerset as masts have been put up close to schools, hospitals and residential areas.

"There are dozens of stories of people coming home from work to find a mast that they knew nothing about at the end of their garden.

"The Conservatives did a deal with the phone companies when they were in government to cut planning controls for masts. Under the current ridiculous rules it is easier to get planning permission for a 15 metre mast than it is for a five-metre conservatory."

And Mr Laws added: "This Bill will allow planning authorities to take account of health concerns and will require the industry to produce more evidence about the radiation emitted, and to justify the need for each mast."