Plans to build a phone mast in Berrylands have been sensationally shelved after the residents' imaginative campaign prompted a u-turn from telecommunications giant Hutchison 3G.

The firm made initial inquiries into siting a mast in the Chiltern Drive or Berrylands area, but residents sent out hundreds of leaflets and campaign posters against the proposals.

One woman, Barbara Aburn, threatened to chop trees in her garden because they may have hidden the mast making planning permission easier to obtain.

But after a barrage of letters, emails and phone calls, the network provider said it has abandoned plans for a base station for now.

In a letter to residents, corporate affairs manager Gareth Coombes-Olney said: "We have looked at many options both technical and geographical to find a solution to this very difficult area for us.

"As we stated this was only a pre-application consultation process and we had not applied for planning permission, despite rumours to the contrary. Our current position is that we are not going to proceed with this site at this time."

Mr Coombes-Olney warned that Hutchison still has a requirement for coverage in the area.

He added: "We may need to revisit the area for coverage, if so we will undertake the same consolation (sic) programme and we will inform local parties prior to lodging a planning application."

Residents were so concerned about possible health fears and the fact their properties might fall in value that they began campaigning the moment they heard from Hutchison.

Dr Jez Bezant, one of the local residents who spearheaded the effort, thanked the Surrey Comet for its support since the plans came to light in March. He said: "The mobile phone company, Hutchison, acted professionally and courteously. However, it possibly did not expect to meet such active resistance so quickly.

"Our residents' group was formed almost immediately upon hearing of the proposal and sprung into action. Most of us had not met before, even though we only live a few houses apart."

Dr Bezant added: "We are a mixed group, from commuters to pensioners. Some of us have only been here a few years while others for over 70 years.

"It is through the active participation of the members of this group that this result has come about."