RESIDENTS in a village near Worcester are launching a campaign against plans to site a mobile phone mast near a primary school.

T-Mobile UK Ltd has applied for planning permission to put the 15-metre high mast at Hallow Telephone Exchange. It would facilitate three 2G/3G antennas.

However, residents in Hallow are outraged at the plans and are calling on Malvern Hills District Council to throw out the application.Nicky Harper, a mother-of-two, said: "The mast is less than half a mile from the primary school and pre-school. I am very concerned about the health risks of siting it so close to schools. We do not know whether these things are safe as yet, which is extremely concerning.

"A mast was pulled down in Warwickshire in April this year due to a cluster of cancers and other serious illnesses occurring to people living near it."

Mrs Harper, of Oakleigh Avenue, said she was not opposed to mobile phone masts in principle but said they should not be sited so close to schools and homes.

Hallow Parish Council has also objected to the plan. In its letter to the district council it said: "The proposed location is not only adjacent to dwellings, and near the school and playgroup, but it is within 12 metres of a public footpath. Since health guidance recommends an exclusion area of 15 metres around such masts, this seems to be further justification for rejection of this application."

The villagers' campaign comes amid another fight with T-Mobile by residents in Bishampton, near Pershore, who are also objecting to the siting of a mast in their village.

A spokesman for National Grid Wireless, on behalf of T-Mobile, said five other sites had been considered at Hallow - the Lexus garage, Royal Oak pub, Orchard Close, the Vauxhall garage and Oakley car sales - but all deemed unsuitable, largely because of a lack of space.

They added: "We would stress that this development, like all mobile phone base stations under our control, will operate well within guideline levels for Electro-Magnetic Emissions as set by the Health Protection Agency and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.

"Local residents who might be interested in this development should contact National Grid Wireless' Community Relations Team by phone on 0845 601 4815 or by emailing:"