ILLAGERS in Bishampton were incensed when they returned from a demonstration against a phone mast only to find work had already started on the installation.

Residents had been campaigning against the 13ft mast at Nightingale Farm since February because they fear emissions from the mast could threaten their health.

Last Wednesday they went by coach to the Hatfield UK headquarters of T-Mobile to stage a peaceful protest.

Protestor Duncan Burtoft said: The day we visited T-Mobile's headquarters they chose to start cabling for the phone mast putting two fingers up to our pleas for compromise! We're well aware that neither T-Mobile nor the landowner gives a stuff about the feelings of 75 per cent of Bishampton villagers."

The campaigners have accepted that the installation is inevitable. They also accept that the health risks are not proven, but they want T-Mobile to compromise on the location of the mast.

Landowner William Robertson said that the T-Mobile contract was signed in February to install the mast at the back of one of his barns, so there was no going back.

He said: "I thought I was doing mobile phone users a service. I don't believe there is any health risk at all." He referred to a recent study carried out by the University of Southampton published in a national newspaper last month which claimed symptoms of electrosensitivity were largely psychological.

Spokesman for T-Mobile John Shaughnessy said: "The installation is under way. I think we have made our reasoning clear, but the villagers are entitled to do want they want."