Protesters opposed to the building of a mobile phone mast in a quiet country lane came face to face with construction workers this morning.

T-Mobile has permission to build an 8.5 metre antenna on a small patch of grass in Burtons Lane – won on appeal despite bitter protests from residents and councillors.

A small group of objectors, however, is refusing to admit defeat and attempted to prevent builders starting work when they arrived this morning.

The protesters, from the campaign group Chorleywood and Chalfont Against Mast Pollution, say they will thwart the project at every turn.

As well as bringing the workers tea and coffee, they also helpfully pointed out to them that they were preparing to build the mast in the wrong place – around 30 metres the spot agreed with the council.

Anne Pearson, of Burtons Lane, was one of around ten protesters at the site. She sat atop an eight foot hedge, blocking the work of a mechanical digger.

She said: “We don’t want another mobile pone mast in Chorleywood and certainly don’t need one. There is nothing wrong with the mobile phone signal in this area.

“It’s very cold but I’m quite comfortable up here at the moment.”

Neighbour Cathy Vine added: “The council said no to this and so did Three Rivers District Council.

“They [T-Mobile] only forced this through on appeal. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty; close to houses and near a school. We believe this mast poses a health risk to people and the horses in the nearby fields.”

After the Watford Observer visited the site T-Mobile admitted it was building in the wrong place and began moving its equipment – a mechanical digger, fencing, and workmen – to the correct place.

When built the mast will form part of the next generation so called 3G network, allowing users greater access to the video images and the internet.

T-Mobile, together with all other service providers, refute any suggestion that mobile phone usage and masts are unsafe, quoting a range of scientific studies to support this opinion.

An academic consensus, however, has yet to be reached on the matter.