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A 38-YEAR-OLD woman was shocked to come home from holiday and find a 10m phone mast at the bottom of her garden - despite Vodafone being refused permission.

Suzi Gilban-Brucking never expected the mast to appear after planning permission was refused by Dartford Council in January.

However, Vodafone ignored the Council’s decision and put up the mast in Princes Road, later extending its height to 12m.

The council has now demanded it be removed within 28 days following complaints from angry residents.

Mrs. Gilban-Brucking, of Ashen Drive, said: “When it was installed in August it was bad enough but then it grew an extra two metres.

"My husband said one weekend it had got bigger but I didn't believe him. When I saw, I just lost it. It is now about 12m tall."

“It used to be a silvery colour so it blended in with the sky but since it got bigger it has become British racing green.”

The mother-of-two added: "My major concern is the health of my children.

“They haven’t proven any health risks but at the same time, they haven’t disproven them either.

"It is ugly and no one really wants it near their house unless they paid us about £50,000 to have it there."

A council spokesman said: “Consent had not been granted for the mast and we are in discussion with Vodafone.

“The enforcement notice is to be served this week, requiring that the mast be removed within 28 days.”

Vodafone will have the option to appeal this notice and people living in Ashen Drive are concerned the mast will devalue their properties if it is allowed to stay.

A spokesman for the mobile phone company said: “We identified the need to improve the 3G coverage to our customers in Dartford and proposed a shared base station on Princes Road. “We applied for prior approval but did not receive a decision notice in the appropriate timescale and as a result we believe we have consent to go ahead and develop this site in the normal way.”