PICKERSLEIGH Road residents are fighting proposals for a 40ft phone mast right outside their front doors.

Mobile phone company Hutchison 3G has applied for planning permission for the mast and base station on a grassy verge near the junction with North End Lane.

"None of us are happy about the mast at all. It is just too close. It will be higher than the houses, lamposts and telegraph poles," said Victor Turner, whose front door will be barely 100 yards from the 12.5m mast.

He said the batteries and equipment at the foot of the mast could be a health hazzard and said residents were worried about what would happen if a car hit the mast and it fell on to nearby homes. The proposed mast would be near a road junction, where there have been accidents in the past.

"It shouldn't be in a residential area. It's just not safe. An industrial estate would be more suitable," said Mr Turner.

Hilda Forsyth said she and other residents would do everything they could to stop the mast.

"We're not having it here and that's final," she said.

Hutchison 3G originally applied for permission for the slimline, single pole phone mast on land behind Bicknells garage, but this site is no longer available.

In a statement supporting the current planning application, Hutchison 3G says the mast will be painted green to match nearby lampposts and will be partly screened by the mature trees in Pickersleigh Road.

The mast is needed to provide digital and video mobile phone services for the Pickersleigh area of Malvern.

Hutchison 3G corporate affairs manager Mike Dobson said the mast was a modest, single pole with three shrouded antennae.

He said its transmissions would be well below the World Health Organisation's guideleines for telecoms structures.

Residents living close to the mast site will be sending their objections to Malvern Hills District Council's planning department.