RESIDENTS of a major road say plans for a mobile phone mast were approved behind their backs.

Neighbours in Hendon Way have collected three separate petitions since plans first emerged in 2006, the latest containing 33 names.

They say the 12.5m pole, to be used by Vodafone and O2, will spoil the character of the area and wanted to raise their objections when the application came before councillors.

But they were not told when the meeting would be and it was approved without their knowledge on April 14.

Margaret Sanchez, 58, of Hendon Way, said: “It’s unacceptable. They all went ahead and approved it behind our backs.

“None of us knew anything about it until they had already said yes.”

She added: “We shouldn’t have to put up with this because we don’t have any mobile phone problems. Any proposal for a development should benefit the local residents.”

Doreen Steinberg, 83, of Hendon Way, had put in a formal request to speak and says she was told she would be notified about the date of the meeting.

Fabien Gaudin, the council’s principal planning officer, told Mrs Sanchez in June: “I regret that the department missed the request of your neighbour Mrs Steinberg to speak on your behalf at the planning committee.

“Although her objection was entered into our computer system, her request to speak was missed and I apologise for this.

“This is the same computer problem that caused notifications of the decision not to be sent out to objectors.”

She has since made a formal complaint to the council and has called on the authority to halt the development on the basis proper procedure was not followed.

Barnet Council spokesman Nick Griffin said: “The council has acknowledged there were administrative shortcomings in the notification of objectors for which we would like to apologise.

“However, the application was subject to appropriate consultation, and written representations from residents were provided to Planning Committee members for consideration.”