RESIDENTS who feared three phone masts would be built outside their homes are breathing a sigh of relief.

People living along Rodford Way, in Dodington, were horrified when mobile company Vodafone submitted plans for a 10-metre high mast in September.

But they are celebrating victory this week after South Gloucestershire Council refused the proposals out of hand.

Campaign leader Mandy Sainsbury, who lives in Blaisdon off Rodford Way, said: "The battle is won but the war is not over yet."

Residents were particularly upset because they already have to put up with a giant O2 receptor and expect phone company 3 to put up a mast imminently.

During a campaign against the Vodafone proposals, homeowners launched a scathing attack on the council for ignoring previous agreements to consider mobile phone mast applications in much more detail.

Despite the authority first recommending the site to Vodafone, area planning manager Donna Whinham said the mast would harm Rodford Way. She said: "The addition of a third mast would be visually intrusive and the cumulative impact of the three masts would have a negative impact on the street scene and would detract from the visual amenity of the area."

Added Mrs Sainsbury: "Everyone around here is breathing a little easier now but we are expecting another planning application, even if it is for a mast just a few hundred metres away.

"We sincerely hope we will not have another mast in such close proximity to the O2 one but we are bracing ourselves for where they Vodafone mast ends up."