A TELECOMMUNICATIONS firm has been accused of trying to 'hoodwink' the council after having its planning application for a 30m mobile phone mast in Appleton Thorn refused.

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd proposed to install a lattice tower supporting nine antennas, with two dishes, as well as a 1.8m high palisade fence on Burley Lane.

Campaign Against Ruining our Environment (CARE) and Appleton Parish Council objected the plans.

The council highlighted the 'insufficient information' put forward after making a decision and said the application failed to demonstrate how the upgrade of the existing facility would be 'feasible'.

The planning officer's report added: "While the application site is located with an established industrial area the proposal is on the fringe of the open countryside, on Green Belt, with a predominant rural character, and the existing industrial buildings are not prominent from public vantage points.

"In the opinion of the planning authority, the proposed mast, by virtue of its siting, appearance and height, would be a prominent and incongruous form of development which would fail to relate satisfactorily within the rural setting.

"The proposals would cause demonstrable harm to the character and appearance of the area."

CARE has praised the council's decision and the group feels Cornerstone failed to listen to the views of residents throughout its bid to install the mast in the area.

A statement said: "CARE is delighted that our council has refused this unwanted application which, if granted, would have seriously affected the immediate environment and landscape of two families who live on the edge of Appleton Thorn.

"4G technology is of course very welcome but not on the doorsteps of village families.

"There are many more suitable locations outside the village for such giant masts, including existing mast locations adequately serving needs.

"This was a case of a large company trying to hoodwink planners and our council and neglect the views of residents by providing questionable information in their application, which was found to be misconceived, if not seriously flawed.

"When tackled by the council for clarification of some details of their proposal they were found wanting and rightly the council declined their application."