A GROUP of neighbours are preparing to do battle with phone giant T-Mobile over a 45ft mast.

The company wants to put the mast in Crowtrees Lane, Rastrick, just feet from a row of houses and the main road.

Peter Jackson, who will live in the shadow of the mast should it go up, said the site was not suitable.

"There are a lot of houses right next to where they want to put the mast. It seems stupid that anyone would even dream of putting one here," he said.

"We are still not exactly sure of the medical implications of living next to mobile phone masts, so putting them on people's doorsteps is asking for trouble."

Yesterday a protest was held in Crowtrees Lane to make people aware of T-Mobile's plans.

In July 2003 people living in the same street challenged an application by Hutchinson 3G to build a smaller mast on the same site.

Councillors threw out the plan, but since then the Government has changed the rules for mobile phone masts. Those smaller than 15 metres (just over 49ft) do not have to go through normal planning procedures and Mr Jackson claims this has given companies the green-light to put masts wherever they want.

"It is a disgrace that a company can even consider this site as a possibility," he said.

"I have three grandchildren and one on the way. I do not want to risk their health by having a great big phone mast outside my house.

"And it will be seen from all the houses on this street. I am shocked another company has tried even after the last plan was refused."

Clr Paul Rogan, a Tory councillor for Rastrick on Calderdale Council, has vowed to fight the mast and has called for the planning rules to be changed.

He said: "Companies should not be able to go around putting up masts where they feel like it.

"They are supposed to consult ward councillors but nobody has spoken to me about it. There are plenty of other places where this mast could go.

"I know we all need mobile phones and therefore the masts have to go somewhere, but we need to be sensible about where they are and that should certainly not be in the middle of a residential area like this."

A spokesman for T-Mobile said: "We recognise that one of the biggest challenges facing operators in developing a modern telecommunications infrastructure is minimising the impact it has on the environment, whether rural, urban or suburban.

"At T-Mobile we work hard to try to reduce the visual impact of our base stations. Based on 40 years of research, T-Mobile is confident its base stations do not present a health risk to any member of the public."