PLANS to erect a mobile phone mast close to football pitches in Abbots Langley have been suspended after positive talks between Three Rivers District Council and O2.

On Wednesday, council development control officials met with representatives from mobile phone operator O2 to discuss issues surrounding proposed siting of one of its masts on South Way.

Even though the council rejected the proposal, due to a planning loophole O2 was allowed to go ahead with their plan to erect the mast close to Evergreen Football Club, which borders the Hillside estate. However, the company was willing to negotiate and has agreed to look at alternative sites away from homes.

Any new options would require O2 to re-apply for planning permission. Councillor Sara Bedford, chair of Three Rivers development control committee, said: "I'm pleased O2 has listened to our concerns and hope to find a site that's suitable for them away from residents."

Keith Peutherer, district councillor for Langleybury ward, added: "The future looks promising with O2 having made this positive response.

"If the company does apply for permission to erect its mast at a less sensitive site, it will have my thanks and, I'm sure, those of the Hillside area's residents."

Hillside Residents Association led concerns about the siting of the mast.

Peter Scott, chairman, said: "It's brilliant news and I'm over the moon."

An O2 spokesman said: "We appreciated the council talking to us about the mast and have taken away some ideas for new sites that were discussed. We will come back in a month to meet with the town planner before putting in any new planning applications."