Plans to build a controversial, 45ft-high sports dome next to a nature reserve in Cheam are to be withdrawn.

Word of the move has sparked excitement among campaigners who are battling to stop Nonsuch High School from building the dome.

Several rang the Epsom Guardian this afternoon hoping that this was a sign that the school was abandoning the proposal.

But, although Epsom Council confirmed that the plans are being withdrawn, although they are currently still on its website, it is believed that the school intends to submit fresh plans with a smaller dome, and is not scrapping the dome itself.

Earlier this week the headmaster, Peter Gale, said that it was looking at reducing the height to 35ft.

He said: "We are considering lowering after listening to some of the points made by local councillors and residents. The school is very happy to listen to practical suggestions that help all interested parties.

"We are very happy to work with local residents to support a 20mph speed limit outside the school.

"There will be more than 51 car parking spaces available on site in the evening, since the existing staff car parks would become available.

"We are considering how we could improve pedestrian/cycle access. There would be little extra traffic at peak times."

Noone was available for comment at the school this afternoon.