CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for a “gigantic” 82-foot mobile phone mast in picturesque countryside are celebrating victory as the firm behind the mast has agreed to seek an alternative site.

Telecoms giant Arqiva’s application to erect the mast on land at Little Durnford Farm in the Woodford Valley sparked more than 130 objection letters.

Many said the mast would ruin unspoiled views, while others raised concerns over potential health problems and impact on wildlife.

Now the firm has put its plans on hold, with talks to find another location for the mast - still within the Woodford Valley - imminent.

“It’s a fine bit of democracy working,” said campaigner Joe Studholme. “The right result has come for the valley.

Thanks to all those people who wrote in with their objections, they have changed their minds. I hope very much we will be able to find a suitable alternative site so we will stop being a ‘notspot’.”

Campaigner Helen Warner said: “It’s wonderful that such a large and diverse number of people came together to show their support for conserving this beautiful area. It just shows how strongly people feel about safeguarding our bridleways and views, for future generations to enjoy.”

In the end, 134 letters of objection were received, including one from Ivy Portnall, which said: “I do not have a mobile phone, and at 92 years of age am unlikely to be getting one any time soon.

I do have, however, reasonable eyesight, and would hate to have to look out of my window and see this proposed monstrosity.”

An Arqiva spokesman said: “We can confirm that the application has not been withdrawn, but that we are still having discussions on all proposed options and their benefits with the local community. We endeavour to find the most suitable mast location in the area in agreement with the local planning authority, land owners and local residents and we hope to have this concluded in the coming weeks.”