BACK in the 1990s and early 2000s battles against phone masts were commonplace before the mobile network was largely completed.

But now a new tussle is looming over a proposed masts to cater for the latest 5G technology in the southern part of Winchester.

Hutchison 3G (H3G) has applied for permission for an 18-metre monopole with six antennae and two transmission dishes on a grass verge near the junction of Airlie Road and Cromwell Road, Stanmore.

So far there have already been six objections with local people writing to the city council saying the structure would tower over the area.

H3G's agent Chris Dalby has told the council the location is "integral to the needs of H3G's network for the provide new 5G coverage and capacity to the area surrounding the site. It would also improve 4G coverage and capacity."

The site has been chosen to be as far away from houses as possible, he said.

Mr Dalby, of agents Sinclair Dalby, added: "At the current location the open space and backdrop of shielding provided by dense and mature (lime) trees and the presence of existing street lights and street signs and bollards will prevent the site being an anomalous feature and help it blend in with the surrounding street scene."

Neighbour disagree. Martin Simpson, of Airlie Corner, said: "The scale of the proposed monopole and cabinets is far in excess of the size of existing street furniture, lampposts and trees in the area. According to the proposal the trees and street furniture will "prevent it from being an anomalous feature". At 18m the monopole is twice the height of the trees that are proposed to be shielding it."

Allison Woodley, of Stuart Crescent, said: "I don't want to be living right near these huge antennas and masts with aerials on them. I don't know what the dangers are of the radiation etc. They will be unsightly. Why don't you put them in Clifton Road or in St Cross? Why do they have to be in Stanmore?"