THREE mobile phone antennae are to be erected near a primary school.

Durham City councillors approved plans for the three masts to be placed on the Neville's Cross pub after visiting the site on Monday.

The transmitters on the pub on Darlington Road are to be housed in a reinforced plastic box painted to match the brickwork, but parents are worried about the effects transmissions will have on their children.

Neville's Cross Primary School is little more than 100 metres away. Parents sent the city council a letter of objection. The council also received 15 other letters of objection, a petition with 86 signatures and letter from a business. The majority was concerned about health risks.

Warren Brown, whose children Fred and Lilith both attend the school, said the potential health risks to children had not been looked at properly.

He said the Stewart report, which sets out guidelines on siting mobile phone masts, says there is the possibility that exposure to radiation can have a biological affect on people and that children absorb more radiation than adults. He said: "Children in the primary schoolwill be there for seven years and virtually every day subjected to low-level radiation. The only course of action left to us now is a judicial review which will cost money, which none of us has."

A spokesman for the company behind the planning application, Hutchinson 3G, said they work to stringent guidelines covering mobile phone emissions that are acknowledged around the world and there was no danger to children.

He said the Government also conducts random surveys of emissions surrounding schools.

He said: "We have managed to answer most people's questions and handled most people's concerns. Obviously there's going to be a few people who will not be satisfied, which is a shame. But we have gone to the school to answer all questions put to us."

Staff at Neville's Cross Primary had to remain impartial in the issue, but allowed parents to arrange a meeting with representatives from Hutchinson 3G at the school two weeks ago.