The approval of a 12.5m phone mast near a school and scout hut has provoked outrage among parents worried radiation could affect their children’s health.

Unhappy residents are considering picketing council offices over the decision and boycotting a park if the "eyesore" goes up as planned in Salisbury Road, Worcester Park.

On Monday Epsom Council gave the green light for the controversial phone mast by Auriol Park in a residential area near a primary school.

Despite receiving petitions and hundreds of complaints, the planning department decided in private that "prior approval" was not needed and there was no legal reason to refuse the plan.

Richard Stabler, 29, from Auriol Park Road, said the proposed phone mast will be located just 25 metres away from a bedroom belonging to his young children and he is worried about them being constantly exposed to low energy, non-ionising radiation from the mast.

He said: "It’s really disheartening and it made me angry to hear the news that it will go ahead. I really don’t know why because it’s going to be an eyesore. It’s not going to fit in with the local surroundings."

A council spokesman said it is the responsibility of central government to decide what measures are necessary to protect public health.

He said: "Hence, as a matter of national policy, if a proposed base station meets the recognised guidelines for public exposure to non-ionising radiation, perceived health issues associated with masts cannot be considered by a local council."

He said the application had to be decided within 56 days and its timing meant that it could not be heard at the next public planning committee meeting.

He said: "The council sent a letter to more than 200 local properties three days after the application was received to ensure that local people had the opportunity to express their views.

"The council has exceeded local and national consultation requirements in this case."

Alison Chipperton, who has lived in the area for 20 years, said: "I am saddened but not surprised that yet another planning application appears to have been successful despite many legitimate protests being lodged.

"For Epsom and Ewell Borough Council to have disregarded local residents' requests to listen to our views on the siting of a potentially harmful phone mast close to a primary school, Scout Group HQ and on the boundary of a park, which is full of sports teams each weekend, not to mention countless residents who live adjacent to the proposed mast; is not acceptable."

Epsom Councillor George Crawford, who represents Cuddington ward, said: "I am very disappointed on behalf of the many local residents that the matter has been dealt with through the dedicated powers invested in the planning department at the town hall.

"I am also of the opinion that due to the strength of feeling in the area it would have been better to air the matter fully before the full planning committee."

Nick Landsberg, from Salisbury Road, said: "It appears that the council are running scared. Do they approve the building of masts by powerful companies who also have sway over the Government or do they listen to the residents opposing the masts as they were originally elected to do?"

Mr Landsberg said mobile phone companies hide behind guidelines developed in the 90s when the known adverse health effects related to the heating of tissue.

He said: "There is now sufficient scientific evidence worldwide which indicates there are biological effects occurring at exposure levels well below these guidelines.

"Surely the council has a duty of care to protect children (who have developing brains and whose skulls are thinner than adults) from the possibility of the effects of microwave radiation from the plethora of mobile phone masts."

He added: "Why was a mast application on the same site 10 years previously disallowed and now this latest one allowed? What has changed the council's mind?"

The NHS says most research suggests it is unlikely base stations, made up of a mast with antenna, increase the risk of health problems, but this evidence is based mobile phone use over the last 20 years. 

According to the Health and Safety Executive, the weight of evidence indicates that there is no evidence of a direct link of harm or ill health from working or living close to phone masts.

To see the plans, with reference 14/01254/T56, visit