TOWN councillors refused to back a planning application to install a new generation phone mast at the Droitwich Spa water tower at a meeting of the planning committee on Monday night.

The proposal, submitted to Wychavon District Council by One 2 One Personal Communications, is to replace two equipment cabins at the Yew Tree Hill water tower, on Newland Road, which already houses mobile phone masts.

They are planning to install one equipment cabin to harbour the 3G phone mast.

A 3G phone mast is more powerful than a standard mast and is used to send different types of information, such as videos and emails via a mobile telephone.

Town councillors have been reluctant to back applications for the masts as the effects on health are unknown.

Town councillor Peter Pinfield (Lab-East) said: "I think we should continue our task of frustrating future developments. I would turn it down and let them (the phone company) work for their money. The equipment they are using would be too strong."

Town councillor and chairman of the planning committee Richard Morris (Con-Droitwich South East) said: "In our town guidelines we are saying we don't accept 3G masts in Droitwich Spa, so we cannot recommend it - although those guidelines have not been adopted by Wychavon."

He added: "I would ask that our town councillors who are also Wychavon District Councillors refuse it at district level."

The decision was to recommend that the application be refused but it is the district council which has the final say on the scheme.