A MOBILE phone mast at Bemerton Folly has been given the go-ahead by a planning inspector.

Residents objected to plans for the mast, on land at Westwood Road, fearing it would attract youngsters on motorbikes and quadbikes and that it would encourage flytipping.

They also raised concerns the 24-metre high structure, on land designated a nature reserve in 2004, would be a magnet for vandals, who would attack it with air rifles and catapults and start fires there.

Planning officers recommended the Vodafone application be approved when it went before Salisbury District Council’s city area planning committee in October, but councillors turned it down, branding it ‘a monstrosity’.

But Vodafone said the mast is needed to improve coverage in the area and that the site had been identified as the best option following a thorough review of available land and appealed against the council’s decision.