TENSIONS are heightened in an Ulverston community after residents embroiled in a planning row compare their struggle to David and Goliath.

Tonight (18) Ulverston Town Councillors will debate a planning application to build a 17m telephone mast in the heart of the Croftlands housing estate.

In May a pre-planning application was submitted by Vodafone to build a mast on the corner of Oakwood Drive and Central Drive, next to the newsagent.

Residents and councillors alike criticised the plan at the time, and still do so now that a formal planning application has been made to the district council.

Local resident Pat Appleton said the community was united against the plan.

She said: "There were about 26 people who were there at the last community meeting. The general feeling is that they don't want the mast to be put in this area. They can't see how it's managed to come back since eight years ago as it was rejected at the same site.

"Have a mobile phone mast, but in a place like Ulverston why should we be treated differently.

"I'm not sure if they are looking at our area being a soft option."

Nick Nibbs, 56, of Central Drive, said the residents were galvanised for a fight.

"The consensus among the residents is very strong. We've spoken to 200 people and I've not met anyone who wasn't opposed to it in some way.

"They [Vodafone] are riding roughshod over this community, maybe they think it's a weak link, but the community is galvanised."

Although a planning application for a similar mast has previously been rejected, residents are concerned over the ease at which Vodafone could build on the site.

Mrs Appleton said: "I feel the district council said some time back that we have to get on the information superhighway, the restrictions appear not to have been quite as strict. It's almost giving a free hand to this phone company.

"It's like David and Goliath."

The town council meeting where this application will be discussed will be held tonight (18) at 7pm in the Supper Room of the Coronation Hall.

Visit www.nwemail.co.uk tomorrow to read a full report of tonight's meeting.

Read more:

Read how locals reacted when news broke of the plan to build a phone mast in Croftlands.

Residents feel they are being trampled under big business as the row over a phone mast continues.

A local councillor has slammed plans to build a housing estate within 200m of a primary school.