Protesters against a 32ft phone mast have handed in a 174-signature petition.

The petition was organised by residents of Little Copse Road and Friars Oak Road, Hassocks, against the Orange mast.

It is the third time an application has been made for the mast, disguised as a telegraph pole, but residents are confident they can fight off the challenge.

The petition went to Mid Sussex District Council yesterday and the application will be decided at a planning meeting at the end of the month.

One resident of Little Copse Road said: "We collected 174 signatures and only a handful of people said no.

"I understand the council has received in excess of 70 letters against the mobile phone mast, 20 in the last couple of days."

She said opponents were delighted and surprised by the support they had received.

She said they felt the mast would look unsightly in its planned location.

Residents were also concerned about the health effect of mobile phone masts, which had not been established.

She said: "The support is amazing.

"Everyone seems to think there is no way it is going to go ahead but unless you fight you don't know.

"There has been a lot of work going on making copies and distributing plans. We did a lot of homework and a lot of leg work."

Orange was unavailable for comment.