A COMPANY is planning to quit its headquarters and move elsewhere because a mobile phone mast is due to be built next door.

Turbo Service International (TSI) has vowed to relocate after councillors supported plans to install a 15-metre mast just yards from the main building.

Bosses at the firm in Totton, which employs 25 people, say they are worried about potential health risks.

They have protested to New Forest District Council, which has given Orange Personal Communications the green light to install the mast between TSI, in Commercial Road and the Redbridge Causeway.

The letter says: “The mast is being sited in a location which causes serious concern to our company and specifically to our employees. There’s a far more suitable site nearby, where no objectors exist.

“As a company we are not prepared to accept the mast being positioned within 20 metres of our offices. You have left us with no choice but to relocate to a new site at considerable cost and upheaval to ourselves.”

TSI, which refurbishes ships’ turbo-chargers, has occupied the site since 1998.

Larry Rumbol, one of the founders, cited a major study carried out in West Kempten, Germany, where doctors took blood samples from people before and after a new mast was installed. According to the pressure group Mast Sanity, residents started to suffer a range of health problems, including depression, once the equipment was switched on.

Mr Rumbol said: “It will cost a significant amount to relocate but our health is more important than monetary considerations.” The council’s planning committee debated the application in November last year. A report to members said other potential sites in the area had been ruled out.

It stressed that the mast would improve 3G coverage in central Totton and added: “In these circumstances there is considered no reason to object.”

TSI is already searching for a new home in the Southampton area. Mr Rumbol admitted that the company’s reason for moving out could jeopardise its attempts to let the building.

An Orange spokesman said: “All our masts operate well within the international guidelines. We are sorry that a business is considering relocating due to the position of a new mast near their premises and would advise that they ensure they have the correct information from independent, credible organisations.”