CAMPAIGNERS have won the first round of their battle to prevent two mobile phone masts being built near their homes.

Council chiefs have refused to allow Vodafone to install the 40ft structures in residential parts of Lymington and Pennington after receiving 160 objections to the proposals.

Both applications were turned down at a meeting of the district council’s planning and development control committee yesterday.

Protesters told the committee that radiation given off by mobile phone equipment could cause cancer and other diseases.

Councillors rejected plans to install a mast at the junction of Waterford Lane and Stanley Road in Lymington after hearing that the application had resulted in 82 letters of objection.

One resident said the device would be only 12 metres from someone’s bedroom.

But the application was turned down on the grounds that the “bulky” mast, more than twice the height of neighbouring streetlights, would spoil the semi-rural setting.

Councillor Chris Lagdon said: “This is not the area for any form of industrial development.

Councillor Tony Swain added: “The fact that 82 people have written it says it all.”

Members also rejected an application to build a similar structure at Milford Road, Pennington, after receiving 16 letters of objection and a 62- name petition.

One of the objectors expressed concern about the safety of his four children, saying the mast would be only 12 feet from their back garden.

However, the application was refused on the grounds that the structure would restrict the visibility of drivers using a nearby junction.

Campaigners must now wait to learn if Vodafone will lodge an appeal.