A GLOBAL phone company has been accused of riding roughshod over the residents of a Cotswold village after installing a ‘factory chimney-like’ mast without any consultation.

The mobile phone mast, which is situated off Station Road in Kingham, less than 50 yards away from six listed buildings, was installed last month by telecoms giant Vodafone.

It has annoyed the parish council and residents, some of whom have said Vodafone ignored Government guidelines before putting the mast in the village.

Michael Davies, of Field Road, was alarmed by the location of the mast, which he believes stands in stark contrast to the beauty by which it is surrounded.

The 73-year-old, who has lived in the village for 17 years, said: “What is so objectionable about it is that this chimney factory-looking thing has been placed right up against the church and five other listed buildings.

“Regardless of whether it has planning permission or not it should be unobtrusive. It’s in an area of outstanding natural beauty and it should conform to that environment.”

While the erection of the mast is entirely lawful, Mr Davies suggested that Vodafone ignored Government guidelines on the matter, which include maintaining minimal environmental impact and engaging with communities.

Mr Davies, who described villagers as being ‘up in arms’ over the mast, added: “People also aren’t happy with it being dumped there without any discussion with the community.

“They’re not the slightest bit interested in going through the motions.

"I haven’t met anybody who is particularly happy with how this has been done.

“Once again a multinational business rides roughshod over local residents. No wonder it has a bad press.”

Mr Davies added there had been a lack of effort to make the mast fit in with its environment.

The listed buildings it stands near include St Andrew’s Church and the Old Rectory, both of which are Grade II.

Mr Davies believes some effort should have been made – even just in terms of colouring.

He said: “No attempt has been made to discuss the siting and the design with the local community as recommended by best practice guidelines and the industrial steel-grey colour of the mast could easily have been changed to make it less obtrusive and less of an eyesore in a rural setting, as suggested in government publications.

“The mast could have been painted brown to match with tree trunks or green at the top.”

Vodafone did not respond to a request for comment.