DOZENS of villagers near Ilminster are limbering up for round two of their fight against a mobile phone giant attempting to erect a new "horrendous" mast.

A group of neighbours in Horton are rallying against the proposals from Vodafone, 13 years after successfully seeing previous plans thrown out.

Villagers say there were told by the telecommunications giant at the time that the decision of refusal for the plans would not be contested, or even revisited, but now there is major concern over an application for a new, bolstered pole, which would also be shared with Telefonica to serve O2 users.

Since 2002, residents have pushed ahead with the creation of a skate park, just 200 yards from the mast, on the understanding that the existing mast at Nyworthy Farm would not be enhanced.

Horton Parish Council has written to South Somerset District Council to outline its "great concerns" over the health of children using the park.

Not only do residents echo such fears, they also take issue with the visual impact of the proposed mast and the procedure of how the application process has gone ahead.

Although the existing mast will decrease in height by 0.2m, six white steel antennas will be attached to the top of the pole, while an additional dish twice the size of the two existing dishes will be introduced.

A spokesman for the group said: "We just want Vodafone to stick to what they were told to do more than ten years ago. There will be a number of homes that will be impacted visually by this 'dandelion' structure, which could surely be placed further away from any houses.

"Although we cannot say for certain that this would have an impact on health, this technology is still in its early days, not enough is known, and the Stuart report urges planners to 'err on the side of caution', which is what we want to do.

"The whole notification sequence has left a lot to be desired; we have not been notified as neighbours and the planning notice was placed on a private road at knee height."

Vodafone says the mast is designed to be in full compliance with the requirements of the radio frequency (RF) public exposure guidelines.

A final decision from the district council is expected to be made by May 15.