Residents have been left angered by two mobile phone companies hoping to put up a giant mobile phone mast in front of a disused Kingston pub.

Vodafone and O2 have teamed up and submitted a planning application to Kingston Council asking to put up a 12.5m mast to improve 3G and 4G smart phone connections in Kingston.

But residents believe the proposed mast outside the former Richmond Park Tavern, at the junction of Acre Road and Kings Road, could be a health hazard.

Latchmere School governor Andree Frieze said: “There is still much debate over the ill effects of such masts, and in fact, New Zealand, Sweden, Italy, Australia and parts of the US have banned mobile phone masts from being erected within a mile of all schools, nurseries and residential areas to protect children’s health.”

She added her school had not been contacted about the proposed mast as expected by planning policy guidance, but neighbouring St Agatha’s Catholic School had.

Council documents submitted on behalf of the telephone providers stated: “The alternative to this would be to propose separate installations for both Vodafone and O2 which, it is considered, is certain to have a greater impact.

“Utilising a mast with a slim and unfussy design to keep impact to a minimum. This is the most suitable design available.

“The proposal strikes an appropriate balance between operational and environmental considerations.”

But Park Road resident Caroline Scott said the mast in front of the Grade II listed buildings of the Keep and St Agatha’s Church “must not be allowed”.

She said: “The council needs to respect, preserve, enhance and increase the green spaces in the borough before Kingston and the surrounding area turns in to one big, ugly concrete jungle.”

The consultation on the proposed mast is open until September 25.