Concerned residents gathered at a school playground in the west end of St. John's Friday, to protest a proposed cell phone tower.

About 30 people showed up outside St. Mary's Elementary to let Bell Media know they don't want a tower in their neighbourhood.

Bell Media claims growing demand for mobile internet service in St. John's means they need to construct a new tower. The company wants to install the tower a few hundred feet from the school, on property near a seniors' complex.

Residents fear the tower will take over the school's field - and will be a potential health hazard.

Bell Mobility said it follows all government standards for safe construction and operation.

Kristie Furey has a child who attends St. Mary's.

"We use this facility ... and it's not just our neighbourhood school, it's our community centre and parents congregate all the time," said Furey.

"I have no problem with someone wanting to increase their service — just put it in the appropriate area."

St. Mary's student Patrick O'Brien has a different set of worries, beyond losing the field where he and his friends play 'catch the flag.'

"There are bird feeders up there, and I have seen birds up there too ... and those birds will probably get sick, and the trees will be gone too if they put it [the tower] up there," said O'Brien.

The west end wouldn't be the first neighbourhood in St. John's to see a cell phone tower in their backyard — there's one located on Albany Street.

Meanwhile, the city of St. John's would like to keep these towers out of residential areas.

Councillor Tom Hann said the city is going to enact its own legislation.

"It will be very specific on where they can put towers — and where they can't, preventing them from putting it in neighbourhoods like this," said Hann.

"But down by Oceanex or on some hill — absolutely we will cooperate with them."

It has worked before. Council recently avoided a new tower being installed on Merrymeeting Road.

With files from Jamie Mauracher