Phone company Vodafone has lost its appeal to erect a mast at a Horsham beauty spot.

It wanted to site a 15 metre tower between Horsham and Brighton, which contains land within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Horsham Council refused planning permission because of the impact it would have on the countryside.

Planning inspectors accept there may be no alternative mast-sharing opportunities in the area, but say the largely unspoilt countryside should be left alone.

The planning inspector said: "I do not consider the benefit to the telecommunications network outweighs the harm to the character and appearance of the countryside and the setting of the AONB and the policies of the development plan for their protection."

The inspection found the mast would have been clearly visible to people travelling out of Horsham and has suggested an alternative site to the north-west where retail and commercial activities already exist.