CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a phone mast on the outskirts of a village have been rejected by council planners.

Residents in Pebmarsh voiced concerns after an application to build a new mobile phone mast was submitted to Braintree Council.

The mast would have been built on land at Oak Farm on Oak Road and would have been 20 metres tall.

Plans were submitted by multinational telecommunications giant Telefónica, which owns UK mobile network provider O2.

The mast would have strengthened the company’s mobile phone signals in the area.

But the application was met with fierce opposition from villagers and managed to rack up more than 60 objections.

Pebmarsh Parish Council also strongly objected to the plans, with concerns over the impact on wildlife, security and the mast’s visual impact.

The application has mow been rejected, with planners also citing wildlife impact, proximity to nearby airfields and visual appearance.

However, the council’s report agreed that a mast would benefit mobile phone users in the area and the council has stated it would consider a mast which was suitably located and was an appropriate design, which respects the surrounding environment and the landscape.

In a statement on its website, the parish council said: “Many of you will have heard that the planning permission for the mast at Oak Farm, has been rejected by Braintree District Council.

“This decision is very welcomed by the parish council, but unfortunately this is not the end of this matter.

“The parish council has been in contact with the telecoms company to discuss their next steps and they confirm that at present they are still evaluating the refusal.

“However, either an appeal or a new application for a different site are both equally likely. In order to prepare for either eventuality, the parish council need to put forward an alternative site or sites for the phone mast.

“We understand that the perfect site does not exist, but would like to find a location that has a minimal effect on the village.”

Potential sites can be emailed to