PLANS to build a mobile phone mast on the outskirts of a village have prompted backlash from concerned residents.

An application submitted to Braintree District Council outlines the proposal to construct a 20 metre lattice phone mast on land at Oak Farm on Oak Road in Pebmarsh.

Overlooking the village below, the plans were submitted by Spanish multinational telecommunications giant, Telefónica Ltd.

The corporate juggernauts are most notable in the UK for owning mobile network provider O2.

Now the company is looking to strengthen its mobile phone signals in the area.

If approved, the mast will have three antennas, two 300mm communication dishes and an associated radio equipment cabinet within a fenced compound.

However, the move to raise such a tall structure close to the village has prompted fierce objections from Pebmarsh villagers. In comments sent to Braintree Council, residents have hit out at the plans outlining what they believe to be serious issues.

One resident said: “I am convinced that being in close proximity to these masts has not been satisfactorily proved to be 100 per cent safe.

“In my opinion the proposed siting is far too close to breeding owls and other wildlife.

“I am also led to believe at least eight other sites have been put forward but all rejected in spite of the fact some of them are closer to the village centre and of a sufficient height.”

Aside from the impact on wildlife and safety fears, other concerns raised include the mast ruining the view, lack of communication with residents and security.

A spokesman for Cornerstone said: “O2 customers expect to be able to use their mobiles and devices where they live, work and travel.

“Cornerstone, on behalf of O2, have proposed a new base station at Oak Farm to improve the telecommunications coverage to the area.

“This proposal would lead to enhanced 2G, 3G & 4G services allowing O2 customers faster mobile broadband.

With Regard to the comments about health, Mobile UK publish information on Radio Signals and Health at

“This is the position of all UK mobile network operators.”