TWO controversial applications for new mobile phone masts in Bournemouth will go before councillors next week.

Plans to put an O2 mast on land rear of Warnford Road in West Southbourne are being recommended for approval despite objections from hundreds of residents.

A proposal to switch a street lamp outside Tesco at Castle Lane East with another O2 mast, which has sparked a far lower number of objections, is recommended for refusal.

More than 500 people have signed a petition against the plans for a mast in Southbourne, with a further 60 writing letters of objection.

Ward councillor Nick King and the headteacher of Stourfield Junior School are among those urging councillors to reject the proposal.

But planners believe there are no grounds to turn the application down, saying that the level of radiation reaching Stourfield Infant and Junior School would be less than 0.01 per cent of the accepted safety levels.

They also say there are no landscaping issues as the mast would be disguised as a timber telegraph pole and would be well-screened.

Eight residents have expressed concerns about the planned mast for Littledown but they have been boosted by an objection from the council's highways department.

Highway officers say they are formulating plans to improve the pedestrian and cycle paths in this location and that the introduction of any street furniture would be inappropriate until these have been carried out.

Both applications will be considered by councillors on Monday.