From a quick look, you’d think this new structure on top of Burnham-On-Sea’s Ritz Cinema is simply a flag pole.

Yet, in fact, the white pole is actually a cleverly disguised high-tech mobile phone mast which O2 has installed over the past week to boost its coverage in the town.

The Planning Inspectorate gave the controversial mast the go-ahead in 2009 following several years of negotiations between O2 and Sedgemoor District Council.

The proposals for the mast were initially rejected by Sedgemoor, when planning officer Chris Gomm said the “incongruous and alien” phone mast would be out of place in the town centre. However, the decision was later overturned by The Planning Inspectorate following a public inquiry.

The new mast will enable O2 to beam 3G phone signals across the centre of Burnham for the first time when it becomes fully operational later in the summer.