Furious residents are locked in a stand-off with O2 after an administrative blunder caused Hounslow's planners to miss the deadline to turn down an application to install a phone mast.

The base of the O2 mast has already been put in and this week several Sutton Court Road residents took days off of work to prevent the mobile phone company's workmen from continuing the installation.

Proposals to erect the mast on a small strip of land in the Grove Park area of Chiswick were rejected twice by Hounslow's planning department.

However, due to an administrative error, the latest decision to reject the mast was submitted 24 hours too late.

Resident Dawn Wilson said the mast site is 200 yards from a primary school. She said: "O2 is just ignoring local opinion. They are saying they have permission, but it is only on a technicality that it is legal because basically Hounslow Council screwed up by not getting the paperwork in on time.

"If they put it up it will be very difficult and expensive to take down."

Another resident, Steve Nutt, said O2 was being "sneaky" about the installation after workmen started digging a trench for the mast at 5.30am.

"The workmen keep coming back out to do a little bit more. It is 17 metres away from peoples' flats - it's atrocious," he said.

In October residents submitted 120 letters of objection to Hounslow's planning department.

A Hounslow Council spokesman said: "We have corrected the system to ensure that this error cannot occur again and are in discussion with O2 regarding the installation of the phone mast."

O2's project manager at the site said they would consider the situation for a few more weeks and will look at the possibility of moving the mast to a more appropriate location.