RESIDENTS vented their fury over plans to install a phone mast which they believe breaches planning guidelines.

Members of the public came in droves to a consultation with phone companies about a 12.5 foot telecommunications mast that could be built on the corner of Woodlands Ride and Coronation Road in South Ascot.

The original application was made in May, by Mono consultants on behalf of Vodafone/Telefonica O2, but it was withdrawn following objections from residents and suggestions from the planning office that more consultation with residents was needed.

Representatives from O2 and Mono Consultants met with residents on Wednesday, October 6 at St Francis School in Coronation Road to discuss the mast before deciding whether to resubmit an application.

A the meeting Adrian McCarthy. of Ravensdale Road said: “I can’t believe there is not a more appropriate site for the mast, I don’t believe they have looked at every option with due diligence, it is a fait accompli and that’s unacceptable.” In a heated debate that ran from 4-8pm James Stevenson, communications manager for O2, explained that the site on Woodlands Ride was ideal for supporting data phones such as the iPhone. But residents suggested that the site was chosen for economical reasons.

Mr Stevenson said: “The reason we have chosen this site is purely for coverage and for our customers, we never worry about the money we pay.” A resident and Vodafone user responded: “I am one of your customers and I am telling you I don’t want this.” Objections have been raised by residents who say that it is unsightly and cabinets that would need to be installed below the mast would make it difficult for wheelchair and pushchair users to use the path. Both reasons put it in contravention of the council’s planning guidelines, say residents.

During the meeting residents suggested different sites where the mast could be placed including in Swinley Forest. Andy Lewis from Mono Consultants welcomed the suggestions and said that he would look into them further.

Lise Andreassen said: “Our one remit is that it is not put near any other houses." Sarah Halstead, spokeswoman for the crown estate, which owns Swinley Forest, said: "We would consider any such inquiry on an individual basis within the usual constraints of conservation issues and business management."