CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a 17.5 metre high phone mast have been given the go-ahead by Warrington Borough Council.

In past months parish councillors have disagreed about the application, which was made by telecom companies O2/Vodafone with the transmitter to be based on Burtonwood Road, near Whittle Avenue and Westbrook Way.

Clr Terry O’Neill, for Burtonwood and Westbrook Parish Council, said: “This would be a health hazard at a busy junction. The position is not suitable. It would affect the highway.

“These things happen though and there’s not a lot you can do.”

Clr Judith Guthrie agreed and added: “It is like a mast city around here already.”

But Clr John Joyce said: “I’ve no objections. If you’re going to put it somewhere then why not there?”

During its investigations the council’s transport development department examined the surrounding area and its roads, footpaths and other street furniture such as signs and lamps.

A spokesman said: “I would offer no objections to the application subject to confirmation that the mast and associated equipment will be set back at least two metres from the footpath to allow for future widening.”

The planning committee granted the application on the grounds that a scheme is implemented to protect surrounding trees and hedgerows.

In 2000 the parish council agreed to introduce a new policy of objecting to mobile phone masts installed within 200 metres of educational buildings or 100 metres of residential buildings.

Two years later residents joined forces with the council and submitted more than 100 letters of objection against an application to erect a 12.5 metre tower on the corner of Cromwell Avenue and Shackleton Close.

At the time, T-Mobile withdrew the application before it could reach the monthly planning meeting.

It also scrapped plans for another mast which was proposed for the corner of Cromwell Avenue and Old Hall Road.