WEST Enders have lost their fight to pull the plug on plans to put a mobile phone mast opposite the village's parish church and community centre.

Mobile phone giant T-Mobile has been given permission to put a slimline mast at the junction of High Street and St James Road.

The Hedge End, West End and Botley Local Area Committee has been told that the company had looked at alternative locations but the West End site was the only suitable one for a stand-alone mast.

There was also a shortfall of phone mast signals in the area.

Councillors heard that the telecommunications tower and equipment cabinet would be painted dark green to blend in with the treescape.

However, the mobile phone proposal has caused a wave of protest through the village.

A report to the committee said that there had been 93 objections and three protest petitions.

Concerns included health, devaluation of property and the impact on the pre-school based at the community centre.

Protestors also claimed that it might harm the character of the village and cause an obstruction on the footpath.

Councillors were told that there were no health grounds on which they could refuse the application.

Committee members feared that there could be a forest of mobile phone masts across the village.

Councillor Bruce Tennent said: "I believe that telephone companies should be sharing masts. It should not be necessary to have so many of them."