MOBILE phone giant Vodafone is heading for a clash with York residents over the installation of a phone mast, only feet from a new public artwork.

The firm wants to put a 14-metre-high mast on the corner of Scarcroft Road and Bishopthorpe Road.

Only last month, however, the small triangle of land saw the unveiling of a £7,000 public sculpture, paid for by the area’s ward committee and backed by residents of the area.

Letters of objection are now arriving at City Of York Council, urging the mast plan to be thrown out.

Dr A Forrester, of Bishopthorpe Road, said: “This mast is hugely out of proportion to the surrounding area of green and open leisure space and will obscure the new art sculpture recently installed. A similar post already exists opposite – could the functions not be combined?

Fellow Bishopthorpe Road resident Matthew Reason said: “The proposed mast would dwarf the sculpture and obscure it from view. The proposal is insensitive to the sculpture and the recent thought and design that has been invested into this space.”

A spokeswoman for Vodafone said: “We have an obligation to minimise the visual impact of any mast we install. We therefore favour monopoles – a slim-line pole.

“They have a similar appearance to lighting so they blend in with the street furniture.

“In order for people to be able to use their mobile phones we have to have a mast in a built-up area.”