More than 200 residents have signed a petition opposing “irresponsible and insensitive” plans to erect a mobile phone mast in a residential Bushey street.

Network operators O2 and Vodafone say they are soon to submit a formal planning application for the 11.8-metre mast, at the junction of Melbourne Road and Palmer Way.

But a group of campaigners, led by mother-of-three Kathryn Nicolai, has vowed to fight the move amid claims the operators are not listening to local residents.

Mrs Nicolai, of Melbourne Road, said: “No-one around here is happy at all and people are shocked they have chosen this site. It will be sat right outside the houses, I've never seen a mast that close to people's homes.

“I am amazed, they are going in and doing what they like – they say they are consulting residents but they're not listening to anyone.”

The applicants submitted an enquiry to Hertsmere Borough Council about the plans in November 2010, but will require approval from the authority before the mast can be erected.

Rob Matthews, of Vodafone UK, said: “There are a limited number of suitable locations in the area and the current proposal represents the least visually intrusive option. Base stations only cover approximately half-a-mile in radius meaning we have to put them close to our customers. 

“Whilst we recognise that there are a number of concerns from local residents, the only viable option is the current proposal and we are proceeding on this basis.”

Mrs Nickolai is also concerned about the location as it sits just a few hundred metres from Little Reddings Primary School and Nursery, in Harcourt Road.

Although a government report published in 2000 failed to find any health risks with mobile phone mast radiation, it recommended children under-16 use their mobile phones sparingly as a precaution.

Mrs Nicolai added: “Their argument is that the mast is for people demanding it but I have 200 signatures that say no-one around here is.

“The plans do not take into consideration the local community's feelings - if no-one here wants to live with it then why should we? When the application is submitted, they are in for a bit of a fight.”