RESIDENTS are angry about a renewed application to have a phone mast in Ross-on-Wye.

Vodafone and O2 are seeking permission to put the 15-metre mast on the junction of Fernbank Road and Eastfield Road, which are mainly residential.

Vodafone submitted a similar application last year but withdrew it due to a change in technical requirements.

The new application is five metres higher and its emissions more powerful, which has led to objections from residents, particularly as it would be close to a children’s play area and St Joseph’s Primary School.

The play area, called Childs Gardens, was named after Ron and Joyce Childs, who were Mayor and Mayoress of Ross from 1979 to 1980. Their daughter Liz said a phone mast would harm the area.

“The gardens are very sentimental to me and they give pleasure to a lot of families and children,” she said.

“I want to see them continue to be used in their current form.”

Les Marshall lives close to the planned mast. “It will be right in front of my house and I can’t sleep at night because I’m so worried,” he said. “I have lived in my lovely bungalow for more than 30 years and love it, but I have been told by an estate agent that a phone mast nearby would wipe off about £100,000 off its value.”

Residents have until next Wednesday to send comments to Herefordshire Council.

Dr Rob Matthews, EMF unit manager at Vodafone, said the visual impact would be minimised.

“We recognise that some communities are concerned regarding the deployment of radio stations close to residential areas, but without radio base stations, mobile phones will not be able to work,” said Dr Matthews.