A NEW phone mast caused concern amongst Redhouse residents after it appeared next to four schools.

The 15-metre mast on Redhouse Way provides superfast broadband to houses on the estate.

However, its location by the gates of Red Oaks Primary School and just down the road from Abbey Park School, Brimble Hill School and Uplands School raised a few eyebrows.

Residents were surprised to see the newest addition to their estate when it was quickly put up and voiced their concerns to the Adver, though none of them wished to be named.

One said: “It’s right by the schools and on the edge of a play park. As far as I knew, it wasn’t going to be built there, it was refused and we’d heard nothing about it since.

“Nobody had been informed about this happening, so seeing the mast was a real shock.

“It’s a huge, horrible-looking eyesore, I’m extremely cross about it. Putting it so close to a children’s park and those schools is dangerous, it should be at least a mile away. There’s no need for it.”

Another resident said: “A lot of people are talking about it, especially parents who have children at those schools. No-one consulted us about this mast going up, all of a sudden, it was there.”

When approached for comment, none of the nearby schools said they had received concerns about the new mast.

In 2014, a deal between Swindon Borough Council and UKB Networks, was signed to bring a superfast service to 20,000 homes currently without it.

While the £3 million deal was welcomed in some areas, there was strong objection in the northern area of town and plans to build five 15-metre masts there were rejected in 2016.

At the time, many residents and local politicians said the masts were too intrusive in their originally-planned locations, so they campaigned against them.

After several public consultations in 2017 which led to Broadband Delivery UK making changes to the original plans, the masts were given the go-ahead.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “This mast was installed as part of the government scheme to ensure 99.6 per cent of Swindon’s homes and businesses can access superfast (over 24mbps) broadband speeds.

“The council is delivering this in partnership with Broadband Delivery UK and it means that an extra 19,000 homes in Swindon benefit from much faster download speeds.

The project involves erecting between 20 and 25 masts across the borough. This latest mast is number 20 in the programme and will likely be the final one to be installed.

“The success of the project has seen over a thousand people now subscribing to the broadband service.”