A BID to install a giant telephone mast in the middle of a Barrhead beauty spot has been rejected.

Last week, local campaigners won the first round in their battle against the controversial plans as they were refused by East Renfrewshire Council.

Protestors claim the 20-metre-high mast on the Fereneze Braes at Boylestone Road would be a “blot on the landscape” and a threat to the area’s natural wildlife.

The mast would be installed by Reading-based MBNL, which specialises in mobile phone infrastructure.

However, a ruling issued by the council states: “The proposed development, due to its design, height and prominent siting, would have a significant detrimental impact on the character and visual amenity of the local environmentally-sensitive area.

“As a result, the proposed telecommunication mast and associated works would negatively affect the surrounding area and fail to respond appropriately to the local context in terms of design, scale, height and massing.”

Kirsty Menzies, who is among those who have objected, has welcomed the council’s decision but said there is more work to be done to stop the mast plan going ahead.

MBNL can now appeal to the Scottish Government and the final decision could lie with Scottish ministers.

Kirsty, 55, said protestors are pleased to have the backing of local councillor Danny Devlin and MSP Paul O’Kane.

She added: “We are delighted with this decision but the fight goes on.

“Hopefully we will get the support from other MSPs to put pressure on the Scottish Government.

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

“It will also 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.

“The site is also next to a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Once it is up and running, the mast could seriously affect the health of wildlife, particularly birdlife.”

Sixteen local residents including Kirsty met at the mast site last month to launch a campaign of opposition.

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

A spokesperson for MBNL said: “We will continue to work closely with the local planning authority to find a suitable site for the mast.

"Our priority is to maintain essential network coverage for residents in the area and we will consider more sympathetic mast design options to reduce the visual impact on the surrounding environment.”