RESIDENTS have voiced fears over plans for another mobile phone mast in Colchester.

Vodafone and O2 UK have jointly submitted a planning application to Colchester Council for a mast by the railway bridge in Ipswich Road.

But local people have objected, citing Health risks among their concerns.

Elizabeth Baxter, 64, whose home is two doors from the intended plot for the 12.5-metre tall mast, said: “I have a brain tumour, currently stable.

“I believe recent research shows there are cancer-type health issues associated with these types of installations.’’ She added: “My other objection concerns the safety of others, with a pole of this height and weight so close to the railway line.

“We experience severe shaking from some trains, enough to loosen screws over time and cause pictures and ornaments to move.

“I am sure anything on the railway embankment would be subject to the same stress.”

Neighbour Bob Allen, 86, added: “I have just had a lump taken out of my ear – a cancerous mole.

“You keep reading about people being up in arms about these masts going up because of what might happen. It might not happen, but there is no smoke without fire.”

His wife, Joan, 82, added: “We don’t want the mast.

“It would be an eyesore and spoil Ipswich Road ”

However, a Vodafone spokesman said the mast was needed to improve 3G coverage in the area. He also insisted the mast would be safe. He said: “All our base stations are designed, built and operated in accordance with stringent international guidelines laid down by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.’’ The spokesman added: “The adoption of these guidelines has the formal backing of independent bodies, such as the World Health Organisation.

“Typical public exposures from our base stations will be many hundreds, if not thousands, of times below these guidelines.”

Last week the Gazette told how Vodafone had submitted a fresh application for a mobile phone mast one mile away, at the junction of Eastwood Drive and Highclere Road, in High Woods.

The company wants to put up a 48-foot-high mast, but teachers, councillors and neighbours have objected.