TUPSLEY residents are opposing a plan to erect two new mobile phone masts near their homes.

Mobile phone company T-Mobile UK is seeking planning permission to install two telecommunications towers at the junction on Whittern Way and Folly Lane in Hereford.

Local councillor Brian Wilcox attended a residents' meeting on Wednesday evening and listened to their concerns.

One resident, Ron Maul, said: "They are planning on installing an 11.7 metre mast literally 30 metres from my house and 10-20 metres from the local shops.

"There are also several schools in the vicinity and schoolchildren often congregate round by the shops which is right where the mast will be."

Others voiced concern over the health implications of having a mast so close to their homes.

John Shaughnessy, T-Mobile Community Affairs spokesman, said: "In May 2006 the World Health Organisation in Geneva published a fact sheet on mobile communication masts concluding that considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak radiofrequency signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects'."

He added: "In the UK there are now over 65 million mobile phones in use and they cannot work without a network of base stations in places where people want to use them."

Councillor Wilcox advised those opposing the development to write their letters of complaint to the planning office by the end of the month but could not say whether the issue would be discussed in the council's planning meeting in December or in the new year.

Residents have vowed to fight the application and started planning a petition to block it.