RESIDENTS are celebrating after their campaign to stop a mobile phone mast from being built in a conservation area was successful.

Residents started the petition against the Vodafone and O2 mast proposed for land on the Accrington and Baxenden border.

The mast would have been near Oakhill Park, the Haworth Art Gallery and a few hundred yards from the Accrington Pals memorial.

The campaign saw 800 notices of intent sent to 02, Vodafone, Lancashire County Council and Hyndburn Council, plus 230 letters of objection, signed by local residents.

Hyndburn Council have now turned down the bid due to the impact on residents and the effect on the conservation area.

The council had received hundreds of letters from residents who said the 13.8 metre mast with two equipment cabinets would be 'disrespectful' and an ‘eyesore’.

Chief Planning Officer Simon Prideaux said the applicant should have explored other options before making the application.

Spelling out the reasons in a decision notice, he says: “It is not considered that the applicant has fully and suitably explored the potential to site the proposed mast in other areas within the area of search and outside the conservation area.”

One objection letter, from Accrington Pals historian Walter Holmes read: “The war memorial records the names of 70 men who died during the Battle of the Somme.

“The siting of such an object in that area is an insult to the memory of those brave men”.

Residents in Royds Avenue were the first to begin the campaing with ‘Say NO to the phone mast’ signs in their windows, supported by ward councillor Tony Dobson, before an online campaign also gained momentum.