OBJECTORS are making a final attempt to stop a 40ft- phone mast going up in the heart of Colchester’s Prettygate estate.

Vodafone and O2 have submitted a joint application for the mast on the corner of Prettygate Road and the Commons.

Normally, such an application would be decided by planning officers without going to a planning meeting, because it would be less than 50ft tall.

However, ward councillors have “called in” the decision so residents can have a say at a planning meeting, some time in the next few months.

Will Quince, who is standing as a Tory candidate for Prettygate in this May’s council elections, said a survey of residents found most of them wanted the mast sited elsewhere.

He said: “We were in a bit of a panic when the letter came through, saying it was going to go through on the nod. The vast majority of residents were very much against it and that would have deprived them of any say.

“I only live round the corner and the problem I have is it’s right in front of the Co-op and will be twice the height of the shop.

“Putting aside any health issues, it’s going to be really unsightly in Prettygate.

“I use a mobile phone myself, but I question why they have decided to put this in the most public part of Prettygate.”

Jim Stevenson, communications manager for O2 and Vodafone, said they wanted the mast to improve their network coverage in the area.