RESIDENTS have launched a protest to stop a mobile telephone mast being built in a conservation area in Baxenden.

Residents in Hollins Lane have started a petition against the Vodafone and O2 mast proposed for land near Oakhill Park, the Haworth Art Gallery and a few hundred yards from the Accrington Pals memorial.

They believe the 13.8 metre mast with two equipment cabinets would be 'disrespectful' and an ‘eyesore’.

Residents in Royds Avenue have put "Say NO to the phone mast" signs in their windows, and an online campaign has also started.

Ward councillor Tony Dobson said more than 350 people had so far objected in writing.

He said: “It is totally unsuitable for a conservation area and there is the war memorial. There are many reasons to objections as to the suitability of this site.”

A spokesman for Vodafone said they would be sharing the facility with 02.

The spokesman said: "In the last 12 months there has been a significant increase in the demand for mobile broadband from our customers, which has arisen from the increased number of smartphones and tablets in use. Masts are low powered and only cover approximately half a mile in radius and therefore we have to put base stations close to our customers."

Campaigners are urging residents to lodge objections with Hyndburn Council by email on by tomorrow.