MOBILE phone giant Orange has been given permission to put up a mast in Box to avoid the costs of an appeal.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of the Development Control Committee on Wednesday evening and councillors decided to give the mast the go-ahead.

The decision comes after the council received 11 letters of objection to the proposals from people living near by.

The area which is intended for the mast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the 12 ft pole will stand close to the grade two listed entrance to Box Tunnel.

This is the second time the application has come under Development Control and if permission was not granted an appeal would have been lodged, costing the district council thousands..

Chair of the meeting, John Thompson, said: "We have had clear indication that they are going to appeal and we are going to be crucified."

Councillor Tudor Jones, who objected to the plans, said: "This application which we are being asked to support is to avoid an appeal, which we are told will cost the council greatly .

"Not of course taking into account the cost of peoples rights. Being told to agree with this monstrosity is a David and Goliath situation."

Orange had already had permission refused for a mast in January this year.

Councillor Katherine Banks said: "If we started granting things like this when would it stop?

"We must stand for the rights of our green belt policy or what is the point of them."

The planning application was granted in favour of Orange, who say they need the extra mast to provide rail users with extra coverage.

Planning Officer, John Simmonds said: "The environmental impact was not such that it would go against the reasons for approval."