IN A victory for those opposed to plans for a phone mast at the Knap Lake Gardens, the company’s appeal has been dismissed.

The telecommunications company behind the proposal appealed against the Vale council’s decision to reject their planning application for a 12.5m-high mobile mast in the popular marine conservation area.

CTIL (Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited) & Vodafone Ltd lodged the plans last year.

Planning Inspectorate Wales inspector, Richard E Jenkins announced his decision on July 4 following a site visit.

The Vale council said it was pleased with the decision.

In his report, Mr Jenkins said that “the development would, by virtue of its scale and siting on a prominent corner location, appear as a visually dominant and incongruous feature in the street scene.”

A petition against the plans was signed by hundreds of people.

Campaigner Dennis Harkus said: “It’s good to see that ordinary people have been able to influence a planning appeal.”

“We have never been against improved mobile telephone reception in this part of Barry, but there are more subtle and suitable locations close-by like the railway land or the car park.”

Baruc ward councillor, Steffan Wiliam said he was “delighted”.

“Thanks to all the public for their support. This is the second time local Plaid councillors for the West end of Barry have managed to prevent mobile masts form being installed at locations that would damage the area,” he said.

“I look forward to working towards locating it now at a site that would benefit the community in terms of signal reach whilst keeping the Knap beautiful.”

Vale MP, Alun Cairns said: “It’s a victory for residents who want to protect the Knap Gardens and I’m pleased to have worked with FocusBARRY and others on this important issue. This, as with many things, comes down to finding the right location and the Knap was clearly unsuitable for a mast.”

A CITL spokeswoman said: “We are now investigating a local car park that has become available as a potential alternative site for the base station. The proposed development would provide 3G and 4G services to local residents and tourists.”

Vale council cabinet member for regeneration and planning, Cllr Jonathan Bird said the council was pleased to have successfully defended the appeal.

“The Appeal Inspector agreed with the council that the proposal did not preserve or enhance the Conservation Area and despite the public benefit associated with improved telecommunications this did not outweigh these considerations,” he said.

“This was particularly true given the developer had not adequately investigated the availability of alternative sites in the vicinity.

“We are currently in discussions with Vodafone over the possibility of locating the phone mast within Bron Y Mor car park at The Knap. Investigations have been carried out and a suitable site identified. Subject to a licence agreement being reached, the proposal would then need to gain planning approval.

“This location is considered more appropriate than placing the mast and associated equipment within the Barry Marine Conservation Area and Cold Knap Historic Garden and Park.”