Residents of an Andover street are stepping up their campaign against a proposed telecoms mast.

Inhabitants of Tollgate Road, The Drove and nearby streets are organising a petition against the mast, which they describe as a “monstrosity.”

Plans for the mast were formally submitted by Waldon Telecom on August 7, who are acting on behalf of MBNL, a company jointly owned by mobile operators EE and Three, whose services will use the mast.

Waldon has made use of its permitted development rights, which allow certain projects to be constructed without using the whole planning application process, provided they meet certain criteria.

Objections can only be made on the basis of the mast’s siting, and its appearance, in order to decide whether the permitted development order will be granted.

Many residents have already commented on the plans, describing them as “an absolute eyesore” and “completely unnecessary.”

One resident, Sophie Dolman, said that she believed that because of its location, “the equipment could become an area subject to graffiti, a further eyesore for us local residents, and perhaps a magnet for antisocial behaviour.”

Meanwhile, landlord Brian Kidman said the mast “would cause upset and distress to many.”

“I would be concerned about the welfare of tenants living in my property,” he said, “particularly those with young children, since the mast would be almost directly opposite my house. We’re often told that there are no suitable alternative locations for these monstrosities, but in most cases there are, and without having to look very hard. A non-residential location well away from housing would be much preferred and far more sensible.”

Their objections have been joined by those of the town council’s planning committee, who considered the plans at a planning meeting on August 17.

The committee objected to the plans on a number of grounds, noting “serious public concerns” about the proposed location. They said that the plans were not in keeping with the surrounding area, on one of the “very few” green spaces on the road, and that there were issues with how much space nine cabinets would take up.

Luigi Gregori, town councillor for Harroway Ward and member of the planning committee, told the Advertiser that the plans “weren’t a very good idea.”

“It’s not the best place to put a mast,” he said, “as the green space is used by kids and families in the area. It’s not in keeping with the area.”

He urged affected residents to contact him with their concerns.

Speaking to the Advertiser, a spokesperson for MBNL said that they and their partners “undertake thorough due diligence when selecting our sites.”

“When determining a location, finding the right balance between delivering the service and capacity which customers want and expect, which is particularly prevalent in our current climate, alongside planning regulations and aesthetic expectations is never easy.

“We will, as always, continue to work closely with the Local Planning Authority and local residents and will give all comments and feedback careful consideration. Our aim is for the community to enjoy high-quality and reliable mobile connectivity and the benefits that it brings.”