ANGRY residents gathered to show their opposition to plans for new mobile phone masts on top of their block of flats.
The group held banners and placards outside Coombe Lea in Grand Avenue, Hove.
They are concerned by plans by telecoms giants EE and Three to put six 5G masts on the roof without their consent.
Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee is set to vote on the plans on Wednesday this week.
The authority has received 158 objections to the plan.
Campaigners say the masts will overlook the war memorial and are not suitable within a heritage conservation area.
Coombe Lea flat owner, Serena Mitchell said: “We urge the Council to listen to our serious concerns about the significant harm this will have on an important heritage area.
The 20ft masts are equal to the height of an additional story on our home. They will be very visible from the seafront, the surrounding streets with over 21 listed buildings, and from further afield in the city and the Downs.
The ugly, towering design will cause significant visual harm to the open, balanced skyline on a wide boulevard which is at the end of a major green route into the city, from the National Park to the sea.
“Both the Conservation Area Group and the council’s heritage team object to this proposal.”
At the demonstration a group of up to 30 held signs on the front lawn outside the building.
Placards read “save our street” and others said “5G-on-sea, no thanks!”.
One sign said “hands off our heritage, no 5G masts, stop the roof grab”.
The group chanted: “No 5G on Coombe Lea.”
Phil Balding, a director of Coombe Lea Grand Avenue Ltd and freeholder of the block said residents do not consent by the mobile phone mast plans.
He claims that Three and EE have mobile phone coverage in the area already and said: “I feel our residential block is being treated like a factory building on an industrial estate where there is no thought for aesthetics. This is not a factory or warehouse, it is a residential home in a conservation area surrounded by other residential buildings.”
Labour councillor Gary Wilkinson, who represents Central Hove ward, said he is supporting the residents.
He said it is the first example he is aware of where mobile phone companies have sought to put in masts without consent of residents.
“Many people are very concerned and distressed by the thought of having them dumped on their roof,” he said, adding that the number of objections shows the community has given the plans the thumbs down.
The city council’s planning committee will decide the plans at a meeting on Wednesday at 2pm. It can be viewed online via the council’s website.