A PHONE mast sited metres from homes in Chester is blamed for triggering car central locking systems, doorbells and burglar alar ms.

Residents claim unattended cars with electronic locking systems are mysteriously being unlocked and left vulnerable to car thieves.

And one man fears the Hutchison 3G mast on Adelaide Road may have a grave health effect on his heart condition.

Graham Cox, 69, a former Shell Stan-low worker, said: 'My car's central locking system and wireless doorbell have been affected.'

Close neighbours Pat Holt and Sheila Evans report similar problems at their homes.

Mrs Holt said: 'I've had to disconnect my doorbell because it was going off all the time.'

Residents on Western Avenue report severe interference on their televisions most nights of the week.

Mr Cox said: 'It took us a while to suspect the mast was behind it but the evidence has just built up.

'If you go to the end of the road with the car, the locking works again. It's worse for those people with keyless entry.'

But his most serious concerns surround the effect of the mast on a heart defibrillator system he has relied on since April 2000.

He said: 'If my heart goes into over-drive, which it has done at up to 300 beats per minute, it knocks me out. The defibrillator kicks in at about 200 beats and hits me with a powerful charge.

'If there's a chance it will affect it, I'm very concerned.

His research on the internet has done little to allay fears as there is a wealth of evidence that masts can affect the pacemaker lodged in his defibrillator system.

He has been in touch with heart specialists (at Broad Green Hospital, Liverpool) but says they have been unable to put his mind at rest.

Brian Spooner, as spokesman for Hutchison 3G, admitted similar enquiries have been made to the company before.

He said: 'Normally the various systems operating on radio waves would not be on a frequency Hutchison 3G operates on. I would doubt it has any effect.' n Chester City Council this week re-examined its legal position on a controversial mast at Kingsway, Newton.

Vodafone has been informed they have misinterpreted the law and the mast was erected without planning permission.