Residents near Boslowick Garage in Falmouth are worried a new 17.5 metre phone mast could have an impact on their house prices, their health, and the ecology of Tregoniggie stream.

The telecoms giant has struck a deal with the owners of the garage to build the mast on its land, next to the stream, and has sent a consultation letter to local residents ahead of a formal planning application.

Nick and Amanda Corker, who live close to the garage and send their two children to nearby St Mary's Primary School, have said they are worried about what effect the mast could have on nearby properties.

In particular they are worried about the visual impact the mast will have, overtopping nearby trees by half a metre and being "inappropriate to its surroundings."

The couple are also concerned about potential health risks from the mast, including to school children at St Mary's, St Francis, and Marlborough schools.

They cite the 2001 Stewart Report into mobile phone technology which recommended that masts should not be sited near schools or the homes of children or other vulnerable people, along with Cornwall Council’s Mobile Phone Mast Position Statement which restricts masts on council owned land from being closer than 400 metres from schools.

It must be noted, however, that the 2001 report also found that hand held mobile phones were a more likely source of harmful radiation than masts and that radiation from masts appeared to have no adverse effects on humans, although it did also state that more research was needed.

Another worry is the impact of any building work on the delicate ecosystem of the Tregoniggie stream which runs past the site and into Swanpool nature reserve, including the potential downstream spread of Japanese knotweed.

They said: "The land is undeveloped stream bank land and due to its close proximity to the adjoining woodland it will have a negative impact on this important habitat."

And on top of all that, the couple are concerned that any mast will damage the price of their house. They added: "A house and home, for the vast majority, is our most valuable asset and in turn this will result in a significant amount of anxiety and stress to the local residents."

A spokesperson for Vodafone said that all their stations operated "well within guideline safety limits" with no evidence of adverse health effects.

They said: "Vodafone and O2 customers expect to be able to use their mobiles and devices where they live, work and travel. Base stations are low powered devices which cover approximately half a mile in radius, therefore we have to put base stations close to our customers."

They added that the two companies needed to improve coverage in Falmouth, and had proposed the base station at Boslowick Garage to provide 2G, 3G and 4G coverage.