A PLAN to provide stronger mobile phone reception for rail passengers has come unstuck at Farnborough.

One 2 One has been refused permission to place a 16ft high telecommunications mast alongside the railway track behind Highgate Lane.

The mast was planned as one of a series serving trains on the London to Southampton line.

One to One said they are needed to stop the signal breaking up as trains pass through cuttings and tunnels.

The Farnborough mast would have been sited on a 72ft long equipment platform along with 10 base stations to serve all the mobile phone operators.

But the application came under fire from a large number of protesters, including parents and staff at North Farnborough infant school.

They feared that the pupils' health could be affected by the radiation beam crossing part of the school playing field.

Residents living in the area also sent Rushmoor Council planners an 89-signature petition opposing the scheme, and 174 people submitted individual letters.

And the council's conservation manager said the mast would be an eyesore in the St Michael's Abbey conservation area.

The objections were backed by the development control committee on the grounds that there was no evidence of a "clear need" for the mast.