The ongoing protests against a proposed telecoms mast in The Drove have continued as the company behind the proposals submitted plans for a tower in the south of Andover.

Residents claim that they have collected over 530 signatures for a petition against the proposals, in what a spokesperson for the group of concerned residents called “a good show of people power.”

While Waldon Telecom, the firm behind the proposals, has noted that it rejected some alternative sites, such as on the verge between Cherry Tree Road and Tollgate Road, “due to the amount of surrounding residential properties directly overlooking the site,” the group disagrees, saying that “the houses that were knocked on were houses that would see the mast.”

A planning document has also shown that the proposed mast in The Drove has been rated red under the Traffic Light Model, a scale that “allows a site to be rated by the operator according to its likely sensitivity in terms of environmental, planning and community considerations.”

The model has two axes, one which considers ‘Community Issues’ such as residents’ views, political response and media interest, while the other considers ‘Planning and Environmental Issues’, such as the relation to buildings such as homes and hospitals, its siting and appearance, and planning considerations. By giving each factor a score, the development can then be rated.

While the Code of Best Practice for these developments notes that red doesn’t mean that a mast shouldn’t go ahead, it does note that “a higher level of public consultation may be needed prior to the planning application being submitted.”

Residents of The Drove previously noted confusion surrounding this consultation, with only six letters sent out to residents. Meanwhile, Waldon Telecom elected not to submit a pre-application enquiry to Test Valley Borough Council after being invited to do so by a planning officer “as it is considered the best design has been put forward”.

The same phrase was contained in a further plans sent to the council about a new telecom tower being erected just south of the A303 on Winchester Road. Six antenna apetures and four 60cm dishes will be installed in the field next to the roads, and are intended to replace a mast at McDougalls Silo, as is the monopole mast in The Drove.

Both proposals are still current applications with the council.