Proposals to site a 15-metre phone mast in a historic area have been thrown out.

Under the plans, the phone mast would have been built on Lee Lane, Horwich opposite houses that can trace their history to the 1800s and near an Indian restaurant.

But after objections were raised a decision was taken by Bolton Council  to refuse the proposal.

Cllr Sue Baines, who represents Horwich and Blackrod, said: “In my opinion its not a suitable site, to place it.

“It’s quite a narrow area where they’re placing it, its not suitable and residents are not happy about it being directly opposite their houses.

“It’s very near the Spice Valley restaurant as well and weren’t happy about it either.”

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The plans were first lodged on August 3 this year and as well as the mast would also have included four equipment cabinets.

But the area is a conservation site, owing to the ages of some of the houses, while some of the residents had been worried that the cabinets could have become magnets for vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Baines said: “It seems there are other sites they could use where they can get the signal they need but which would be more unobtrusive.”

She added: “Wouldn’t be on for the residents to have it right there next to the pavement, its ludicrous quite honestly.”

Another representative to raise concerns was Horwich North East’s Cllr Richard Silvester, who was worried that the mast would “spoil the character and appearance of the area.”

The Bolton News: The plans have now been refused by Bolton CouncilThe plans have now been refused by Bolton Council (Image: Bolton Council)

He said: "I am very pleased indeed that the planning officer has decided to refuse this application.

"Many local residents contacted me to say well done on trying to stop this. It was quite frankly an absolutely ridiculous proposal to locate a 15 metre high mobile phone mast and large equipment cabinets on the pavement of Lee Lane in a prominent position in the middle of the historic conservation area.

"The planning officer has agreed with all of the reasons of objection which I put forward. I cannot see the refusal decision being overturned if the applicant chooses to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate as all of the refusal reasons had solid policy justifications behind them.

"If the applicant wishes to contact me, then I would be very happy to work with them to find an alternative site for their mobile phone mast, outside of the conservation area and not directly opposite to any residential housing."

The Lee Lane proposal was open for consultations before the final decision was taken and Bolton Council’s planning department took the decision to refuse the application on September 23.

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A Three network spokesperson said: “We want to offer the community in Horwich a reliable network experience and a site in this location is critical to making that happen.

“While we try to keep mast sites as unobtrusive as possible, they need to be situated where people will be using the service and, in many cases, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage.

“We are considering the council’s reasons for refusal and assessing our options.”