RESIDENTS are celebrating after fighting off plans by a mobile phone giant to site a new mast near the homes.

People at Gilesgate Moor in Durham bombarded Durham County Council planners with letters of objection when Vodaphone lodged an application for prior approval for a 14.8 metre mast, to be shared with 02,on a verge at Peel Avenue.

Now they have heard that officials who considered the application under delegated powers decided it should not go ahead.

People in Peel Avenue and neighbouring streets said the mast would dominate the street scene and would be out of place in a residential area.

They also voiced fears about possible health risks, although the Government does not allow planners to take these into account as it says a scientific study has concluded there is no evidence that transmitters cause significant harm.

The planning department said in its decision letter that the siting and appearance of the mast would have an adverse impact on the residential character of the area and lead to a loss of amenity for residents.

Jean Bryant, whose house was nearest to the site, said: "We are delighted, it would look as it we have won.

"There were 100 letters sent to the council so the response was really good.’’