Friday, August 7, 1998 Published at 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
Plastic pine drives residents up the pole
Leaf it out: One resident called the 'tree' a monstrous carbuncle
Residents are calling on Prince Charles to help block plans to build a telecommunications mast - disguised as a tree - in a picturesque town.
Mobile phone firm Orange says the tree in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, will blend in with its surroundings because it will be disguised as a Scots pine.
The 25-metre high 'tree' would house three antennae and two dishes hidden among steel branches and plastic pine needles.
Resident Ian Leiper said: "Whether it is disguised as a plastic tree or not, it is going to be very tall, an invasion on the visual environment .
"If I want to see a plastic tree, I'll take myself off to Legoland."
Another resident, Jim Montgomery, said: "This is like a scheme dreamed up by Dad's Army. It's not going to work.
"The very idea of putting that monstrosity in the park three quarters of a mile from the Old Town is ridiculous.
"It's a monstrous carbuncle."
Barrister Ben Anderson, said: "They must think Beaconsfield residents are totally stupid.
"Two microwave dishes and three antennas would stand out in a natural tree, never mind a steel and plastic monstrosity."
Orange said the tree would fit in well with the surrounding area.
A spokesman said: "We have several up and down the country.
"Wherever we erect a new mast we do everything we can to make sure it blends in as much as possible with the surrounding environment.
"Where appropriate we will put up a tree."
Orange has put masts on churches, lighthouses and windmills.