OXFORD residents have hit out at plans for a 12.5-metre mobile phone mast near their homes.

Vodafone and O2 have jointly applied to build the mast on green land in Crabtree Road, Botley.

Parish councillors last month voted unanimously against the proposals, but the final decision rests with the Vale of the White Horse District Council.

The chairman of North Hinksey Parish Council, Philip Stevens, said: “The phone mast would be made up of two rectangular boxes, which would be no bigger than the British Telecom boxes in the area.

“But then there would be this 12.5m mast, which would be by far the tallest thing in the area.”

Mr Stevens said they had no concerns about the health aspect of the mast, which has to be certified safe, but that it was simply not in keeping with the area.

He said: “It is close to the local shop, a block of flats and some nearby houses within about 30 metres of the site.

“No-one that lives close to it is very happy at the proposals.”

Fellow parish councillor Briony Newport said: “We just think it is inappropriate in the middle of an estate.

“We used to have problems in that park with children gathering. Now those problems are over for residents, we get this.”

She added: “I don’t see why companies can’t use masts that already exist, instead of having to keep building new ones.

“Why can’t they build them elsewhere – I just don’t think this is for the good of local people.”

In documents to the Vale of the White Horse District Council, Wilkinson Helsby Projects, which is acting for the mobile phone firms, said the site was the most suitable option.

It said: “Careful consideration has been placed into finding a site that pulls the facility as far as possible away from any housing.

“The site has to be located within the residential area to give adequate coverage to the required cell.”

It added if the pole was positioned anywhere else in the area, it would be very close to housing.