A CONTROVERSIAL phone mast in High Wycombe has been pulled down to the delight of neighbours who have campaigned for six months to have it removed.

The 45ft mast in Arnison Avenue was dismantled last Tuesday just as Barry Evans, founder of the NO2 Mast Group, was preparing to fight the mobile phone giants before a judge the next day.

Mr Evans, 59, from Amersham Road, said: "I am pleased. It shows that you need to push them and they will back down. This could all have been sorted over a cup of coffee weeks ago."

The mast was put up in February despite O2 failing to get planning permission from Wycombe District Council after the company used a legal loophole.

The phone company realised the council had missed the deadline to respond to its application by one day, giving it automatic permission to install the mast. The council has 56 days to respond to applications.

Jim Stevenson, from O2, said it was a "coincidence" that the court case was the next day and promised the mast would not be making a reappearance.

He said: "We have tweaked a few of our other antennae and we realised we don't need this one any more. It will go back in storage and be used somewhere else in the country."