AN ALTERNATIVE site for the controversial Foxes Piece phone mast has been found, communications giant Orange has announced.

In a joint statement with Wycombe District Council the mobile phone operator revealed “a potentially suitable location” has been earmarked - in Station Approach - after a series of tests were carried out earlier this year.

It will now contact residents in the street prior to the plan being submitted to WDC.

Campaigners have issued a cautious welcome to the news, saying they will reserve their celebrations until it is certain the 12m tall antenna in Little Marlow Road, Marlow will not be built.

In October 2008 the mobile phone company was granted permission for the mast – close to Foxes Piece Primary School - after Wycombe District Council failed to "explicitly refuse their application" in the 56 day period.

Leading campaigner Charles Horth, a pharmaceutical consultant, who lives in Maple Rise, less than 40 metres away from the mast site, said the proposed location would be“very sensible” but “would not make a lot of people around Station Approach very happy”.

“I'm sure the campaign has had an impact. It's alarmed people right across the board, not just residents but people who had got kids in the school. People all around were horrified,” he said, He added he was “surprised” at the announcement.

Rob Rayner , 42, a civil engineer, of Little Marlow Road, said: “It would be a great relief if an alternative site had been identified and a compromise for the town was reached. It would be fabulous news.”

However, he said he “would not be popping the champagne corks” until the Foxes Piece application had been withdrawn and the new plan had been rubber stamped.

The joint statement from Orange and WDC read: “Following Orange’s technical trials in the area and preliminary discussions with the Council, a potentially suitable location for a mast has been identified.

“The site is located on Station Approach close to the railway station and will consist of a 12 metre mock telegraph pole and associated ground based equipment cabinets.

“The mast would be sited in a primarily commercial area and this is being proposed as an alternative to the Foxes Piece mast.

“Residents and occupiers close to the proposed site are being contacted to advise them of the proposal prior to an application being submitted to Wycombe District Council.”