Plans to erect a giant phone mast in the middle of a Barrhead beauty spot have sparked a furious response.

Protestors claim the 20-metre-high structure on the Fereneze Braes, near Boylestone Road, will be a “blot on the landscape” and a threat to the area’s natural wildlife.

Kirsty Menzies, who is among those objecting to the mast, said: “Planning permission is not required to build this or notify affected households. However, we can object to where it is built and its appearance.

Barrhead News: A digital image of how the phone mast would lookA digital image of how the phone mast would look (Image: Sourced)

“Boylestone Road itself is a narrow, quiet, residential road which is unsuitable for large, heavy vehicles and too narrow for them to turn safely into and out of without causing damage to property.

“Construction will cause significant disruption to people’s lives for quite a period of time.

“The mast will tower over the landscape, creating an intrusive blot on the skyline.

“It will stick out like a sore thumb and significantly affect the lives of people living nearby for years to come.”

Three formal objections have been lodged with East Renfrewshire Council, with more expected to follow.

Kirsty, 55, said the location is also unsuitable as it is next to a Site of Special Scientific Interest – a conservation designation which aims to protect land from unwanted development.

She added: “Once it is up and running, the mast could seriously affect the health of wildlife, particularly birdlife.”

On Saturday, Kirsty was joined by more than a dozen other local residents as they launched a campaign at the mast site, which is owned by Fereneze Properties.

They said they only found out about the plans when they spotted them by chance on the council’s website.

Kirsty added: “We had a good look at the proposed site, which confirmed the concerns we have over the unsuitability of location.

“It is hard to believe that a mast of this size could be constructed without having to notify the local residents directly impacted.”

The 65-feet-high mast would be in the style of a cypress tree, with a 2.4m-tall mesh fence.

It would be installed by MBNL, which specialises in mobile phone infrastructure.

A spokesperson for MBNL said: “The proposed site is required to replace an existing site and to ensure that the community continue to enjoy high-quality and reliable mobile coverage.

“Finding the right balance between delivering the service which customers want, alongside planning regulations and aesthetic expectations, is never easy. In this instance we have tried to offer a more sympathetic design and were able to reduce the height by five metres.

“We will continue to work closely with the local planning authority and local residents.”