It is 15 - love to Wimbledon Village residents battling to block the erection of phone masts which will be used by security officials in the event of terror attacks during the 2012 Olympics.

The application to build three phone masts on top of Somerset House, a block of flats next to the All England Club - venue for the 2012 tennis tournament - was withdrawn after dozens of complaints were received by the council condemning the equipment as ugly and unsafe.

But Airwave, the company contracted by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to provide the network insists the masts must be built in the area to ensure security during the Olympic Games.

The network is designed to operate during a major incident even when conventional mobile phone and radio systems are knocked out, allowing Olympic security officials to stay in touch and deal with the situation effectively.

Engineers are adjusting plans for the roof of Somerset House, attempting to make the proposed 3.5m masts less of an eyesore, with a new application expected later this year.

But residents have vowed to renew their opposition.

Professor Tim Chambers of Burghley House, Somerset Road, said: “There’s an enormous amount of objection and we expect to see another proposal. There are other places away from people’s residences that these masts can be built such as the All England Club.”

Phone masts are already located on the roof of Somerset House providing a similar secure network for emergency services during national emergencies such as the 2008 flooding and recent G20 protests.

Godfrey King, who lives in Somerset House, said: ”We have been complaining about these masts for many years particularly since residents died of cancer since they were erected. My wife died of cancer two years ago.”

But a spokesman for Airwave said that both the present and proposed technology fits well within health and safety guidelines.

She added: “There’s an overwhelming body of evidence to suggest there are no legitimate heath and safety concerns over this kind of technology.

“The Olympic Games is an event the like of which this country has never seen before. These masts will form part of an essential resilient and secure network to deal with any eventuality.”