A bid to put a mobile phone mast next to a play area in Oxford has been thrown out by a planning inspector.

T-Mobile applied to put up the 32ft mast near the junction of Dene Road and Hollow Way, in Cowley, and appealed against Oxford City Council's decision to refuse planning permission.

But planning inspector Isobel McCretton dismissed the appeal and said there was insufficient evidence that alternative sites or masts that could be shared were not available elsewhere.

She said: "Although there are trees along this part of the boundary with the golf course, they are not very tall and the 9.7m mast would rise nearly five metres above them. It would take a considerable time before the trees acted as an effective foil for the mast.

"I also have reservations about some of the details in the self-assessed rating form, where the nearby children's playground is not identified, nor the student residential accommodation almost opposite the site."

Bob Timbs, city councillor for the Lye Valley ward, had campaigned against the planned mast. He said: "It's right next to a children's play area, so I'm really pleased that we have won and this appeal has been dismissed.

"Everyone I've spoken to about it is relieved. When these telecommunication companies apply, why do they want to put them next to play areas? It was totally in the wrong place."

Residents of Dene Road said they were pleased the inspector had upheld the council's decision. George Higgs, 69, said: "It was far too close to a residential area and there was a children's play area both behind it and in front of it on the other side.

"There was plenty of room over by the BMW area - they could have put it there. Obviously they hadn't looked for other places hard enough."

John Hunt, 77, said: "There's the whole of the golf course, why not stick the mast in the middle there?"

And David Thomas, 64, who collected signatures on a petition passed on to the inspector, said: "I suggested they move it a bit further away. They didn't want to, so I was quite happy that it got turned down."

John Carwardine, a spokesman for T-mobile, said: "We are looking to see what options are open to us now.

"We are going to read the full result and the reasons why the appeal failed. From that we will take the decision on what to do next."