A plan to put up an ‘ugly’ phone mast next door to a mosque has been met by opposition from residents concerned with the unknown health effects on children.

The 15 metre tall tele-communications mast would be erected beside the Masjid-e-Umer mosque in Queen’s Road, Walthamstow if plans submitted by Telefonica UK on August 5 are passed in the coming days.

A similar application for a mast on Chelmsford Road was refused by Waltham Forest council in March, and have received 97 letters of opposition this time round.

Gillian Keith, of Chelmsford Road, has helped print a thousand leaflets to spread awareness of the plans said she was concerned at the visual impact of the proposed mast which includes six antennas.

She said: “We don’t want to see the erection of an ugly, imposing, potentially dangerous structure literally on our doorsteps.

“My partner is with Vodafone and has perfect signal here. Yet ironically, Vodafone is one of the companies proposing to erect the mast.

“There is no such thing as 'bad' signal here in Walthamstow.

“We are told that there are no significant health concerns associated with the radiation emitted from these masts, but most people are sceptical about this.

“All parents in the neighbourhood have expressed serious concerns for the health of their children and for the school nearby.

“I think it is offensive to everyone in the neighbourhood, including the mosque. It sullies the look of the whole street and the entire intersection.”

Yusuf Hansa, chairman of The Waltham Forest Council of Mosques (WFCOM), said that trustees of the Masjid-e-Umer mosque were also strongly opposed to the plan.

He said: “The mosque has once again received numerous concerns from the local community and neighbours expressing very serious concerns about the mast and its health and safety implications, if permission was granted.

“The trustees feel that there are many alternatives sites available, away from residential areas.

“It is imperative that the local authority prioritise the health and safety of the community.

“If the mast is put by a bicycle stand which is used by worshipers and shoppers it will have to be removed.

“Currently council policy is to encourage the use of bicycles in the area and this will be against this policy.”

A council spokeswoman said they received a total of 99 responses, only two of which were in support of the proposal.

She said: “The application will be decided within the next couple of days and will be dealt with at officer level.

“We will be able to supply further comment once a decision has been made and the applicants notified.”