STRONG objections have been raised over plans to install a 12.5 metre telephone mast at a Barry beauty spot.

More than 30 people attended a Barry town council planning sub-committee meeting this week where councillors raised objections to installing a mast on land at Bull Cliff, off Marine Drive in Barry.

The Vodafone mast would, according to the applicant, be a slim-line telegraph pole “supporting six antennas, two transmission dishes, two equipment cabinets and ancillary development.”

The applicant said the mast would to boost 3G and 4G coverage in the area.

Speaking at the meeting Councillor Shirley Hodges said she was "opposed to it for many reasons" with fellow Plaid councillor Steffan Wiliam speaking on behalf of his ward, saying: “I believe there’s no need for this mast. I don’t go to Pen-y-Fan for broadband access.”

The town council decided to formally object to the plans on the grounds of the impact on the heritage coast and coastal path, the impact on wildlife, noise and the area's 'special archaeological interest'.

Residents in nearby Westward Rise have also objected to the plans.

Vivienne Edwards, 53, of Westward Rise, Barry, said: “The proposed mast setting is ludicrous on such a fabulous historic coastal area.

"To put a blot on the landscape like this is a crime. The impact will be huge and will change the natural feel of the area forever, robbing Barry people of somewhere beautiful to walk and families to enjoy."

Rachael Williams, also of Westward Rise, Barry, said: “It is a beautiful part of Barry next to Porthkerry Country Park and on the coastal path boasting beautiful views across the Bristol Channel. It is an extremely peaceful area which myself and many others frequently walk with and without dogs to enjoy the quiet sounds of nature.

“There are plenty of urbanised areas where this development could be built, such as an existing electricity substation in the area, Spotlight Field, the roof of the West End Club which already houses a mast. Why they feel the need to build it in beautiful parkland is unfathomable."

She added: "People need a reliable mobile phone signal, but where are our priorities?”

Norman Pereira, also of Westward Rise, added: “There also has to be various equipment cabinets and probably some form of fencing by way of protection. I am horrified to hear that an access road would have to be made so that the equipment could be serviced.”

Vodaphone had not responded at the time of going to press. The plans will now go before the Vale council at a future date.