PENSIONERS are protesting against a new phone mast being built just outside their windows.

They say they have been kept in the dark about two O2 masts and only found out when they spotted workmen outside.

Southampton City Council confirmed that it had been notified by the company about the plans for the two masts, which will be about seven metres high, but planning permission was not required and therefore no consultation was necessary.

Retired engineer Tony Williams, 68, of Dymott Close, Freemantle, Southampton, was the first to spot workmen on the site and is worried the masts will ruin his view and bring down the value of his home.

He said: "I think it is all wrong that a company can come along and put a mast up by people's windows. Our view looks directly onto where the masts will be going, it will be an eyesore for everyone who has to look at it."

Unhappy He went on to say he felt people should have been consulted as the development is close to several homes.

His neighbour John Bathard added: "I am going to get the full impact of it. Most of the neighbours I have spoken to are very unhappy about these masts going up and the fact we weren't told about them."

The masts will be built on the roof of Freemantle Social Club in Waterloo Road. the club has refused to comment on the issue.

A Southampton City Council spokesman said: "The mast does not need planning permission and therefore there is no public consultation process."

Jim Stevenson, O2 communications manager, said the telecommunications giant had submitted a license notification to Southampton City Council four weeks ago.

He said: "These masts will not spoil the view. We always try to erect masts in a way that will be sympathetic."

The masts will be accompanied by an equipment cabinet and work is expected to be completed within weeks.