PLANS to put up a phone mast in Colchester have been thrown out because of its proposed location.

Vodafone and Telefonica O2 wanted to install the mast and cabinet on a grass verge, close to the junction of Welshwood Park Road and Parsons Heath.

At first, Colchester Council officers recommended that members of the council’s planning committee turn down the scheme, because of fears it could damage nearby trees.

However, before the meeting, new information was offered to the council, and planning officers changed their view to suggesting the scheme should be approved.

Speaking to the committee, resident John Peartree, of Welshwood Park Road, said he and fellow neighbours shared major concerns over the health effects of having the mast so close to homes. He urged the council to refuse the plans.

However, while committee members said they were sympathetic to his situation they could not turn it down on those grounds.

Ward councillor Paul Smith said he was concerned about where the mast and cabinet would to be sited under the proposal.

Fellow councillor Peter Chillingworth said: “The cabinet is in completely the wrong place.

“I think we ought to turn it down on those grounds.

“Then maybe we will get another planning application in, with it in a better position.

“On the problem with health, I do have to sympathise very sincerely with Mr Peartree, but we have heard how difficult it would be to refuse on that basis.”

Committee chairman Ray Gamble said he agreed, adding the cabinet was too intrusive where it was.

Members voted unanimously to refuse the scheme on those grounds.