A "laughably inappropriate" mobile phone mast proposed metres from a primary school in Barnes should not be permitted unless no risks to health can be proven, campaigners said.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Hostile reception: Parents are concerned for children's safety

Mobile phone giant Vodafone submitted plans to Richmond Council to install a 12.5m mast with six antennae and two transmission dishes on the green at the junction of Everdon Road and Barnes Avenue.

Neighbours feared Vodafone had already begun to prepare the site after a large tree was chopped down. Valerie Balkwill, 65, of Everdon Road, said: "Everybody around here is up in arms. It is right in the middle of a residential area - there are better and safer sites.

"At the school that is only 100m away, there is a post-natal clinic and a nursery so it's almost laughably inappropriate.

"The main thing is health and the health of young children. It's never been proved these things are safe and there is overwhelming evidence they're not safe.

"A large tree has already been cut down. You can see where it came out of the ground. On the plan, they have the tree but it is depicted as a tiny tree but it was huge. It seems there are preparing sites while it is in the early stages.

"It just seems very bizarre the tree has disappeared where they want to put the mast. The point is it [the mast] can't be where so many children are passing every day."

People also said they were not sent letters about the plans until a number of weeks after they were submitted to the council. Dan Adams, 38, of Barnes Avenue, said: "We found out from a neighbour who knocked on the floor and said 'have you seen this letter?'. We were pretty disappointed because we hadn't got a letter and as it transpired, pretty much no one did. It felt like they were delaying things to not let us object.

"We don't think it is in the local interest to have this mast up. We just want to say until you can be totally sure about the health risks, don't put it there.

"In places like Sweden and New Zealand, they don't allow them within a certain distance of a school."

The application has received more than 90 letters of objection, including from Lowther Primary School and the Harrodian School.

A Richmond Council spokeswoman said: "The planning application is currently at consultation stage and, upon completion, all representations will be considered before a decision on the application is made."

A Vodafone spokeswoman said: "Vodafone and Telefonica customers expect to be able to use their mobiles and devices where they live, work and travel. Base stations are low-powered devices which cover approximately half a mile in radius, therefore we have to put base stations close to our customers.

"We have identified that we need to improve the coverage to our customers in Barnes and have proposed a new base station at the junction of Barnes Avenue, Everdon Road and Stillingfleet Road.

"All Vodafone and Telefonica base stations operate well within guideline safety limits, below these guidelines there is no evidence of adverse health effects for any members of the public."

To see the proposals and make a comment, visit richmond.gov.uk/planning, using application number 15/0111/TEL.