TOWNSFOLK fear plans for a new phone mast could blight people’s view of Billericay if it is put up in front of the town sign.

Residents living in the town have called the plans to put up the 12.5-metre pole in Stock Road “awful” and are demanding Basildon Council rejects the application from O2 and Vodafone.

They turned out in force at a Billericay Town Council meeting on Tuesday night to send a message to planners in Basildon to throw it out.

Phil and Sally Baker, of Stock Road, will look directly on to the pole if it is put up at the junction of their road and Potash Road.

Mr Baker said: “We don’t understand it. We both have perfect mobile coverage and feel Billericay council needs to represent our views more strongly. We don’t want this pole outside our home and have told Basildon Council.”

Keith Lovegrove, another Stock Road resident, added: “I think it’s a disgrace. Billericay council is guilty of cowardice. It needs to stand up and push forward the resident’s views.”

As well as the mast, four equipment cabinets will also be cited on the junction.

It will provide better O2 and Vodafone coverage to north Billericay and was chosen above nine other sites which were rejected for being too remote and for technical reasons. Until recently Vodafone coverage was provided from a mast at Mayflower High School in Stock Road, but that was removed following requests from the school’s governors.

In an attempt to make the telephone pole and cabinets more pleasing, they will be painted green to match the surroundings.

Jim Devlin, a town councillor for west ward, said: “All Billericay Town Council can do is report to Basildon Council. I think the residents are under the impression we can reject the plans, but we can only make a request. We will ask for a planting scheme around the proposed cabinets.”