ANGRY residents have attacked plans to build a 23-metre tall mobile phone mast in a field near York.

Vodaphone Ltd has applied to City of York Council to install the lattice-type telecommunications mast, along with three antennas and two transmission dishes, at Hall Farm in Church Lane, Huntington.

But one local resident, Tom Claxton, claimed today the mast would spoil one of the most attractive views in the York area.

Another villager, Michael Sherlock, who lives in Paddock Close, less than 200 metres from the proposed mast site, has written to the council to claim: “It will totally dominate the surrounding countryside and will be clearly seen by house owners from the Old Village.

“No attempt is being made to disguise the shape and it will be an eyesore. I most strongly object.”

Mr R J and Mrs K A Haley, of Drakes Close, said they wished to object in the strongest possible terms to the application, saying they were very concerned about the effects of microwave radiation emitted from such masts.

“There are many hundreds of people living close by and Joseph Rowntree School is some 300 metres away.”

They claimed the structure would dominate the local environment and was entirely inappropriate in an historic part of Old Huntington very close to All Saint’s Parish Church.

Mr and Mrs Bruce Corrie, of Hall Farm House, said the site was in a very narrow strip of green belt land that separated the villages of New Earswick and Huntington.

“This is a particularly lovely area of rural land which encompasses the ings of the River Foss and is surrounded by a number of public footpaths. The area is enjoyed by dog walkers, anglers and ramblers and this edifice would truly be a blot on the landscape.”

The company has told the authority that there are significant proportions of York that do not as yet benefit from Vodaphone’s 3G network coverage, but it is obliged by its government-issued licence to provide the high-quality indoor coverage that customers expect.

“The number of mobile phone users has increased dramatically in recent years, and in order to cope with this increase, further network capacity is required.”

It said the proposed location for this mast was within an agricultural setting. “Whilst the site may be open in nature, this location is sited as far as possible from direct residential viewpoints and those of the Conservation Area as possible.

“Furthermore, there is a significant amount of mature vegetation bordering the main settlement area which also limits any potential views of the proposed structure.”