A MAN who was preparing to take a mobile phone giant to court to get a mast pulled down says he is still annoyed by the fiasco after he was awarded £550 compensation.

Barry Evans is one of four residents who campaigned against the 45ft pole in Arnison Avenue, High Wycombe, and was recommended for compensation in an independent report.

But the 61-year-old software engineer says he was miffed the money he has been given came from a general council fund, and not the department that allowed the mast to be put up.

A report into the way Wycombe District Council (WDC) dealt with the O2 pole criticised the authority for not letting residents know about it. The document said WDC failed to make a decision about the mast within 56 days of receiving the application meaning O2 could put it up because of a legal loophole.

Mr Evans, from Amersham Road, said: "Yes, we got some compensation back but it's not half of a year's council tax and why is it coming out of the council's general fund?"

The report also said the residents who complained about the mast should be paid £550 each for their "time and trouble" and for the "distress and uncertainty" they went through while the mast was up. It disagreed however, that members failed to help homeowners in trying to get the mast taken down.

But Mr Evans felt the council did not do enough to help him and fellow residents He said: "They (WDC) explained away their actions but they didn't do sensible things all the way through."

Mr Evans is not planning on taking his complaints against WDC any further and just wants to put the whole thing behind him.

Two weeks ago, a WDC committee agreed to pay out and afterwards Roger Colomb, (Con, Terriers and Amersham Hill), praised the residents for their work.

He said: "I do commend the residents because they resolutely stuck to their guns about taking this action against O2.

"O2 gave up on the court room door so full marks to the residents."

Catherine Spalton, WDC spokesman, said: "Once we became aware of the erection of the phone mast, we recognised that there had been a mistake and treated the case as a priority.

"We did all we could to try to resolve the situation and keep residents informed. This was recognised by the Ombudsman who did not find any maladministration on that account."