“BULLIED by Vodafone” – that was the claim of angry residents as permission was granted for a 57ft telecoms mast on an Ulverston housing estate.

Objectors from Croftlands appeared at a meeting yesterday and appealed for the planning committee to reject it after previous schemes were thrown out in 2009 and 2017.

Nicholas Knibbs, chairman of Croftlands community group, told councillors: “Nothing has changed except the colour. You could paint it pink and it would still be a huge monstrosity outside people’s front doors.”

Instead of siting it at the corner of Central Drive and Oakwood Drive, he proposed nearby open land where a landowner was ‘willing to talk’.

Resident Pat Appleton said it had caused ‘substantial anger and frustration’ and was the company’s third attempt at planning permission in a decade.

“Yet again we find ourselves having to object because Vodafone is determined they want this location,” she said.

Another resident, who declined to be named, claimed it amounted to corporate bullying’. 

SLDC’s Mark Lynch, interim development team leader, said Government policy backed the company. 

Mr Lynch said: “Under the company’s licence, they have an obligation to provide a minimum standard of network coverage for mobile phone users and are at risk of infringing their licence. For technical reasons and landownership reasons, they have not been able to find a more suitable location.”

Cllr Judy Filmore, Green Party councillor for Ulverston East, said it was two-and-a-half times the size of a telegraph pole.

Ginny Hall, for the applicants, said 17 options had been investigated. The mast would be ‘sensitively-designed’ and the company would be willing to discuss further landscaping, she said.