A MOBILE phone mast has been given the go-ahead by a planning inspector despite fears for the health of youngsters in a nearby playground.

Menston residents are dismayed that 45 letters of objection failed to halt the plan for Bingley Road at an appeal by BT Cellnet.

The 45-foot 'monopole' is to be positioned on the pavement of Bingley Road, overlooking Menston Park, where many village children play.

Ilkley Parish Council's planning committee opposes all masts in populated areas, because of the unknown impact on health of long-term exposure to mast emissions.

It strongly opposed the Bingley Road mast because it felt children could be vulnerable to emissions.

Councillor Audrey Brand, of Menston, said: "I'm really disgusted about it. It was really, really infuriating when they came back with this."

She said the council had gone out to talk to villagers, and make sure they knew of the plan.

Coun Brand has also raised concerns about placing the mast on the pavement, where it could be an obstruction to wheelchairs.

The original plan for the mast was turned down by Bradford Council planning officers last year, but BT Cellnet appealed against the decision.

Following a written planning appeal in February, an inspector made the decision to grant permission for the mast.

Bradford Council planning officers also passed on residents' concerns to the appeal, and said that placing the mast on Bingley Road would affect visual

amenity from the park.

In his report, inspector Gwynn Rowlands said the siting of the mast took into account the Government's PPG8 planning guidance on telecommunications masts and health considerations.

The mast is around 100 metres from the nearest house, on Bingley Road.

He said he had looked into the safety recommendations of the independently written Stewart Report, commissioned by the Government, which concluded there was no evidence of a health risk from masts.