A mobile phone company has been accused of exploiting a planning loop hole to erect an "enormous" mast in a residential street.

The 22.5m mast and generator will be installed in the car park of Grenfell Housing Association in Milner Road, South Wimbledon, by phone operator Vodafone.

The company currently use Spur House in Morden Road to house their mast but that is due to be decommissioned after its lease was terminated.

Vodafone can install the phone mast without a public consultation because, under the Telecommunications Act, it counts as “emergency works” to prevent phone signal interruption.

Resident, Alistair Deacon, 43, said the mast would “dominate the area and be pretty ugly”.

He said: "An emergency is when there has been a serious issue with the area in terms of damage but to use emergency powers just because they have lost a lease on a building is pushing the planning regulations.

"It has been abused by the mobile companies in the past and it’s completely out of order."

Under the application, the temporary mast will have to be removed after six months.

A spokesman for Merton Council said: “This is not an application for planning permission and the council does not have the power to approve or refuse the proposed works. This is why there is no public consultation."

The mast is expected to be installed later this month.