A MAN fears his brain tumour could grow after a council gave permission for a mobile phone mast near his home.

The homeowner, who asked not to be named because his family, friends and neighbours do not know the extent of his tumour, begged Colchester’s planning committee to refuse permission for the mast.

However, the committee – by a majority of one – decided the mast could be built because Health concerns cannot be used as a reason for refusal.

Vodafone and Telefonica 02 (UK) applied to erect a 12.5m mast on the corner of Parsons Heath and Welshwood Park, Colchester.

Residents objected on perceived health concerns, including the man who has an eight millimetre brain tumour, which will need an emergency operation if it grows to ten millimetres.

He told the committee he avoided mobile phones and only had landline connections because of his fears.

He added the World Health Organisation had upgraded the possible risk phone masts present.

Paul Smith, the councillor who called in the application for discussion by the committee, said: “This is a special circumstance and it is very unfortunate it is his property most affected. The threat may be genuine or not, but the fear is a genuine concern.”

However, Government guidance suggests “local planning authorities should not consider health implications” if an application fulfils other standards.

Committee chairman Ray Gamble said: “There is always a concern about masts and what the long-term effects may be, but we have to look at the guidance.”

And he had the deciding vote after the committee was deadlocked.

The committee rejected the chance to postpone the decision until the next meeting and go back to the companies to try to see if a new site could be agreed.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Smith said: “I think there was a case for deferring the decision, but they went for the easy option.”

An independent panel has reviewed scientific evidence on possible links between phone masts and brain tumours.

As a result of its analysis, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection committee has failed to find a link.

A paper by Professor Anthony Swerdlow and his colleagues stated: “Although there remains some uncertainty, the trend in the accumulating evidence is increasingly against the hypothesis that mobile phone use can cause brain tumours in adults.”

It follows a 13-country study involving the International Agency for Cancer Research, which suggests there has been no increase in brain tumours since mobile phones started to become widely used.

However, the authors also accepted uncertainty was bound to remain for many years to come.