AN angry resident has slammed Penn Parish Council after it announced land near his home was the most suitable area for a new mobile phone mast.

John Wood, from Knotty Green, has described the council as "feckless" for not challenging applicants Hutchison 3G, which wants to install a 16.7 metre high mast at the junction of Forty Green Road and Penn Road.

Mr Wood, a father-of-two, from Farm Grove, said: "Why aren't they standing up and saying no, we don't want these there. Consult with the residents, consult with your other competitors and see whether we can find a site for your mast to service all three of you'?

"They have not challenged these at all, that's why I'm saying they're feckless."

Mr Wood added that the council had objected to a residential development 500 metres from the site because it was in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and so could not understand why it was prepared to accept the mobile phone mast.

The self-employed management consultant also felt any income the council could get from the mast should not be a deciding factor.

But the parish council, which owns the land, has hit back saying it has not agreed to the mast going up and thought the land near Mr Wood was the most suitable site out of many that had been considered.

Miles Green, council clerk, said: "It's the best option that has been put to us so far. These phone masts follow a predictable pattern. Nobody wants one near them, but everybody wants mobile phones. There's been many applications.

"Of all the sites that have come up in three, four, five years, this is further away from any houses and it's in that sense it's less troublesome to any individual householders.

"If we do get rent it reduces the council tax. The benefit is not to the parish council, it's to the residents."

Chiltern District Council (CDC) will decide whether the mast should be given planning permission and, based on this, the parish council will make its final decision. CDC has sent out consultation letters to those affected who have until March 27 to reply.