LOCAL councillors have reacted angrily to plans for a 15-metre mobile phone mast in Selby, claiming it would be an eyesore.

Mobile network operators Hutchinson 3G have applied for planning permission for the mast on Barlby Road, the old A19, outside the Greencore Foods factory.

A similar application from the company for a mast on the other side of the road was refused several months ago, because of the open aspect of the site.

But Dianne Dumbell, the clerk to Barlby Parish Council, said the new plans would mean the mast was insufficiently concealed.

"The applicants realise the shortcomings of the site as there have been negotiations concerning seven other potential sites," she said.

"Due to the failure to secure one of these sites, they now wish to place their equipment adjacent to the public highway.

"It is stated that this is their least obtrusive equipment and that the mast is not a prominent structure - this is totally unacceptable."

She said the mast would be five metres taller than nearby street lights, and would not be integrated into the street scene.

Coun Stephanie Duckett, who sits on Barlby Parish Council and Selby District Council, said: "The views we're getting from residents around there is that there are better sites available.

"3G are proposing to put it on an open grass verge on a public highway.

"They could put the mast in the Barlby woodland, to the north of Greencore, then it would be hidden better.

"It would also be further away from the houses in Magazine Road. These are housing association properties with young families in them.

"Moving the mast would, I think, give them peace of mind."

Brian Spooner, a spokesman for Hutchinson 3G, said: "As part of our application, we have researched a number of sites.

"A number have been discounted in radio and planning terms.

"The Barlby Road site meets both environmental considerations and the needs of the Hutchinson 3G network."