CAMPAIGNERS are claiming victory after plans to build a mobile phone mast near a Weymouth primary school were withdrawn.

Parents, teachers and governors at Holy Trinity Primary School in Cross Road fought vigorously against the proposal to build an antenna within a few feet of where their children study.

Babcock Networks, acting for O2 and Vodafone, has now withdrawn its application, leading the campaigners to claim success in their fight against them.

The campaigning group had gathered more than 260 signatures against the planning application earlier this month and had won the backing of borough councillor Brendan Webster.

Celebrating the group’s success, father-of-two Peter Griffin said: “My wife and I both signed the petition against the mast and I’m thrilled it’s not going ahead now. The idea of it being that near a school was not right. For almost 800 children to be exposed to risk was unacceptable.”

Mother-of-two Kay Robinson said: “I think the company’s decision to withdraw the plan was down to our campaign but my concern now is that could be moved near to other schools in the area.

“We all have mobile phones but it’s not been proved that these masts are okay and don’t cause any harm.”

Tara Charlton, who has two children at the school, added: “I signed the petition against the mast but I also wrote a letter, because the petition was only treated as one objection even though hundreds signed it.

“Mobile phones have not been around all that long and I don’t think research has proven they’re totally safe.

“It was a silly idea to put one so close to a school and our campaign was strong.”

School governor Helen Toft thanked everyone who stood with her against the telecommunications giants but fears a new application for a site just down the road could still be submitted.

She said: “I’m cynical about the decision – the applicants may have planned not to put this application through all along.

“I think this maybe the case because if they later move the application a little further down the road, people won’t bother campaigning against it and it might be harder to get people to be so passionately against it the second time around.

“Perhaps they were overwhelmed by all the complaints.”

She added: “I’d like to think their decision to withdraw the plan was down to our campaign.

“I hope it was, but this wasn’t just about the school – a lot of our neighbours and people who know a quite lot about telecommunications had some reasonable objections to the plan.

“This might not be over but I’m very glad of everybody who supported the campaign so far.

“A lot of people take the view that the ‘little people’ can’t change anything but we have.”

No-one from Babcock Netw