HUNDREDS of angry Wollaston residents have vowed to fight “all the way” against plans for a 41 foot mobile phone mast.

Telecoms giant Telefonica O2 UK Ltd has applied to Dudley Council for permission to build a mast on the junction of Bridle Road and Vicarage Road, next to a residential home for the elderly and close to a primary school.

A public meeting on July 16 attracted more than 100 people to voice their concerns while ward councillor Nic Barlow renounced his right to vote on the application as a member of Dudley’s Development Control Committee to speak out on the issue.

Cllr Barlow said: “Phone companies seem to think they can put in applications for the most unsuitable sites, there is an overwhelming level of feeling against this.

“The community will do whatever they can to get this thrown out, people are definitely angry. If it gets to committee I would expect the room will be packed and I will be speaking against this.”

Protestors this week delivered a petition to Dudley Council with 1,030 signatures from people opposed to the mast and Stourbridge MP Margot James is among 150 people who have written to the council to express their objections.

In her letter Ms James said: “This application if granted will have a negative effect on the visual amenity of the area and the mast and associated equipment cabinet will be unsightly and not in keeping with the architecture of the immediate area.”

Many residents are worried about possible health problems caused by electro-magnetic radiation from phone masts but planners are not able to reject the scheme on health grounds.

Neither Dudley Highways or Environmental Health departments have any objections to the plan but protestors may get some encouragement from the council’s Historic Environment Team.

The site is next to a conservation area and, in their report objecting to the application, the team said: “The tall mast would be a highly distinctive alien feature which would be clearly visible when approaching from both directions within Vicarage Road and would therefore affect views into the conservation area.”

No date has yet been fixed for Dudley Planners to deliver their verdict but, in the meantime, protestors are planning another public meeting on Saturday July 23 at the offices of Higgs and Sons, The Waterfront, Brierley Hill at 11am.