CONCERNS have been raised over the safety of a high speed wireless network that is being tested in the North Pennines.

Alston and Nenthead are currently acting as a testbed for 5G mobile internet, with some equipment already in place.

The 5G testing is being done by 5G Rural Integrated Test Bed (5GRIT), a partnership of businesses and universities building a 5G testbed across the country.

Alston-based technology company Cybermoor is part of 5GRIT and has been heavily involved in the project.

However, following a press launch last week that saw widespread coverage, residents have now raised concerns over the safety of the new technology.

There are fears that exposure to the mobile phone radiation could be linked to cancer.

In a poll on the Alston Moor Matters Facebook page, 120 people said they did not want 5G in the area, compared to just 25 people who said yes.

A further 40 people said they wanted more information.

Chairman of the parish council, Alix Martin, said she had invited Cybermoor’s project manager, Daniel Heery, to speak at the next council meeting.

She said: “I’m neither in support or against it, I don’t have enough information.

“The parish council is getting Cybermoor along to the next meeting to answer some questions, and then the council can take a view.

“People are concerned because we don’t know if it has health dangers or not.

“Even David Icke’s crowd have got involved on Facebook.

“It’s a government initiative, so the government are saying it’s okay, but if it’s a testbed, are we guinea pigs or not?”

In response, Mr Heery said that he would be attending the parish council meeting, and added that he believes 5G to be completely safe.

He said: “I spoke to the chairman of the parish council and she said there had been quite a lot of stuff online following the press launch. I’m going along to the next parish council meeting to explain all about the project.

“We don’t believe that there’s any danger, but it’s important to listen to people’s concerns and explain why we don’t think there’s any danger.

“The technology we use is using the old TV frequencies that aren’t in use since the digital switch over. They’ve been in use for years so I don’t see why they wouldn’t be safe.”

Alston Moor Parish Council’s next meeting takes place on Monday, March 4 from 7pm at Samuel King’s School.