A Finchley vicar has come under fire from parishioners for his efforts to have mobile phone antennae installed on a church roof.

Residents who share Church Lane, in East Finchley, with the Holy Trinity Church claim a groundswell of opposition to the mobile base stations has been ignored.

Telecomunications company Orange originally applied in 2006 for planning permission to install the base station on the church. It was rejected by a Barnet Council planning committee, but that decision was overturned by a Government inspector on appeal in November 2006.

The final decision will be made by a Diocese of London church court on February 23.

But residents are concerned health risks have not been considered and claim their views have already been discounted by the Rev Laurence Hill.

David Broome, 57, of Church Road, is leading a group of his neighbours in objecting to the proposal and is collecting signatures for a vote of no confidence against Mr Hill.

Mr Broome said: "We've been objecting against the phone mast for the past two years. This is the final battle. We have to do everything to stop it happening.

"This is a huge concern for us and the vicar has ignored us the whole time. We've tried to set up meetings with him to ask why he wants to do this and he's never once come down to speak to us about it.

"The church has conducted everything through an agent and everything has to go through it, apparently, which is very surprising.

"The vicar lives in our road, in our community, so it has really upset all of us."

In 1999, the Government commissioned a group of scientists to investigate the health implications of living near a base station. The subsequent Stewart Report, published in 2000, found no evidence that it could be harmful.

However, other studies have produced conflicting results. Mr Broome pointed to the fact the Stewart report considered base stations that would serve second-generation phones, rather than the more powerful third-generation phones that are now more common and could be served by the base station on Trinity Church.

Mr Hill rejected the suggestion he has acted improperly, and said arguments for and against the installation of the three antenae would be heard by the Diocese of London at the church court.

He said: "I regard this as something of benefit to the community. This is an area of very poor mobile phone reception. There will be financial benefits which can be used for the church's work.

"From the point of view of the court, the Stewart Report is regarded as not providing any sort of evidence that could be used in an argument against this proposal.

"If the people who oppose this have any scientific evidence which has become accepted, then that will be acceptable to the court."

Mr Hill added that he had "no knowledge" of a vote of no confidence against him.