PLANS by mobile phone giant Vodafone to install a new telephone mast in a York community have been thrown out – to the relief of local residents.

The proposal for a 15-metre high mast on the corner of Bishopthorpe Road and Scarcroft Road has been rejected by planning officers.

Michael Slater, assistant director of planning and sustainable development at City of York Council, said the location, design and size of the mast and its associated equipment would be “unduly harmful to the visual amenity of the area”.

He said the development would “sit uncomfortably” next to a valued open space and blight views of a new £7,000 public sculpture erected in the area.

Ward councillor Sandy Fraser said he was pleased officers had listened to the objections of local residents.

He said: “The new sculpture, new cycle racks and plants have all lifted the area in a way that traders and residents appreciate. “We are not against such masts, and most people use mobile phones these days, but it would be quite easy to find a more suitable location than this.”

Coun Julie Gunnell added: “The health impact of telecommunications masts is still debatable, but in an area that has recently been turned into a pleasant and visually attractive corner of the street, we think a mast of this height would detract from the good work that has already taken place.” A spokesman for Vodafone said the company had not decided whether to appeal against the decision.

He said: “Before deciding on our next course of action we will make a thorough review of the reasons for refusal and the alternative sites available to provide the coverage improvement that we seek. “The planning process states that we have up to six months from the decision date to lodge an appeal.”