Friday, 18 June 2010

Council turns down Vodophone telecom mast in conservation area

Brent Council has turned down an application by Vodophone to erect a 13.8 metre high pole with 3 antennas and ground based equipment cabinets at the junction of The Avenue and West Hill in Wembley. The Council is not allowed to take possible health issues into consideration although local people were concerned about the proximity of children's activities at the nearby church. The Council received 46 letters of objection.

The Council report states:

The proposed siting of the mast and equipment cabinets is adjacent to the pedestrian footway, on an area of green open space on the prominent corner of The Avenue and West Hill. The Wealdstone Brook passes beneath the site, and green space adjacent to this waterway and the nearby railway corridor further enhance setting of the site. The Avenue is a Local Distributor Road, and the pedestrian footways either side of the open space are well used by local residents accessing shops on Preston Road. The site is also visible from properties within the Barn Hill Conservation Area, which are elevated further up West Hill. The existing streetscape installations include approximately 6m high streetlight posts, and smaller posts displaying parking restriction information.

The siting of the development would be considered inappropriate to this existing setting. The resultant clutter of equipment would be considered to harm the visual amenity value of this site, which as described above has an open and green character. The proposed mast would be an incongruous feature in the streetscene, and would be harmful to views out of the nearby Barn Hill Conservation Area. The proposed equipment cabinets would also be located within the root protection area of a mature tree, which currently makes a significant contribution to the street scene, and could be damaged by foundation works of the proposed installations. In terms of appearance, the proposal would be considered out of scale with existing streetscape installations, being at least twice the height of the existing streetlight columns.

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