View of existing area where mast and cabinets would be installed outside 112 Walm Lane [Streetview] Note: Pole in foreground is not the proposed mast.
Mapesbury Conservation Area Border (Brent Council) - Site in red
Editor's Note: There has been a suggestion that there is a petition opposing this mast. I have not seen one and so do not have a link. If you know of one please send the link to email@example.com Individual responses to the Planning Portal LINK are more effective anyway as I understand petitions are counted as just one objection.
The latest controversy over the erection of a 5G roll-out mast is in Willesden Green, just within the Mapesbury Conservation Area border. Although the planning application gives the address of the Queensbury pub (due to be redeveloped) at 110 Walm Lane, the site is actually outside the block of flats at 112 Walm Lane, on the corner of Dartmouth Road.
The proposal sent to neighbouring residents and displayed nearby gives a closing date for comments of Thursday January 12th 2023.
Application Number 22/4004
Location Street Record, Walm Lane, London Proposal Prior approval for proposed 5G telecommunications installation comprising a 20m street pole and additional equipment cabinets on footpath adjacent to 110 Walm Lane, London, NW2 4RS (Part 16 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) and is in accordance with the Electronic Communications Code (as amended))
You may comment on-line by using the ‘make comments’ tab or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you provide the application number, your name and postal address. Your comments and address will be publically available, although your name won’t be. You may check what the final decision is by selecting “track application” on our website.
Please make your comment by 12/01/2023; after that we will make a decision on the proposal as soon as possible.
As with all such proposals the default position is approval to aid the roll-out of 5G transmission as part of the government's diginal vision. The applicant states:
The proposed installation supports the UK Government Digital connectivity vision and provide a basis for support from the local planning authority to speed up digital infrastructure rollout set by Ministers on 27 August 2020. Such development will facilitate educational benefits, providing access to vital services, improving communications with the associated commercial benefits for local businesses, enabling e-commerce and working from home as well as enjoying access to social, media and gaming for leisure time activities.
In accordance with the requirement set within National Planning Policy Framework (February 2019) guidelines; the proposed ‘Streetworks’ design has been selected to minimise visual impact upon the street scene by integrating with existing street furniture.
The applicant claims their proposal meets Brent Council's criteria for 5G installations but note the final point regarding Conservation Areas.
One local resident has submitted a comprehensive Objection:
This proposal is completely misguided and should be rejected.
It would create an unacceptably intrusive, overbearing and incongruous feature at a very prominent location, wholly out of scale and inconsistent with nearby buildings and structures, and would materially impact the character and appearance of the Mapesbury Conservation Area and the Willesden Green Conservation Area, as well as of Willesden Green Station and St. Gabriel's Church, both grade II listed buildings.
It's extraordinary that the applicant has managed to find a site for this 20 metre mast that would materially impact the character and appearance of not just one but two separate conservation areas and two separate grade II listed buildings.
Further, while the applicant asserts that the site is outside of the Mapesbury Conservation Area, according to the official map of the Mapesbury Conservation Area (https://legacy.brent.gov.uk/media/16402740/mapesbury-conservation-area-map.jpg) the boundary of the conservation area runs down the middle of Walm Lane and therefore the site is within the conservation area. In any event our comments are relevant regardless of whether the site is or not within the conservation area: if outside it would still be on the boundary of the conservation area and would have just as a material impact on the visual amenity and character of the conservation area as if it was inside it.
In more detail, my objection is based on the following:
(A) The mast would be very significantly taller than all surrounding housing. At 20 metres it would be almost double the height of the adjacent Westerly Court (11 metres), which itself is taller than all other surrounding housing on the north side of the railway, and more than double the height of street lighting and trees.
(B) The mast would be very close to the top of the hill, which would increase even more its actual and perceived height compared to the surrounding housing, including the two conservation areas.
(C) The mast would be located in a corner plot, increasing its visibility and prominence.
(D) The mast would be directly in line with the north face of Westly Court, meaning that its entire height would be visible from the whole north side of Dartmouth Road.
Factors (A), (B), (C) and (D) will exacerbate the visual prominence of the mast which will be seen over a wide area. It is likely that it would be visible from every first or second floor south facing window in the Mapesbury Conservation Area.
The streetview up and down Walm Lane between St. Gabriel's Church and the top of the hill where Willesden Green Station is located is a critical and integral element of the Mapesbury Conservation Area's character and appearance. Further, the northward streetview up Walm Lane and across the top of the hill in front of the Willesden Green Station is a critical and integral elements of the Willesden Green Conservation Area character and appearance. Both of these would be completely ruined by the mast, which would tower above and overbear all of these views.
(E) The mast would be in very close proximity (70 metres - 3.5 times its height) to Willesden Green Station, which is a Grade II listed building, and would significantly impact the appearance of the station and of the open space in front of it (which is part of the Willesden Green Conservation Area) when approaching from the north (from the Mapesbury Conservation Area) and the south (through the Willesden Conservation Area).
(F) The mast would be right in the straight line of sight between Willesden Green Station and St. Gabriel's Church, which is also a Grade II listed building and is located about 10 meters lower down the hill (meaning that it would tower above the church in the background when approaching the church southwards along Walm Lane).
The applicant has taken no account in its application of the fact that the visual amenity and character of two Grade II listed buildings will be materially impacted by the proposal, as set out in (E) and (F) above.
(G) Finally, given that the applicant has taken no account of the above factors in the design of the mast (other than to say that the site is outside of a conservation area, which appears to be inaccurate and in any event is immaterial), the proposal itself does not comply with the design principles set out in the Code of Best Practice on Mobile Network Development in England (2016 Edition) - in particular those set out in Appendix A.
While not directly relevant to my objection to the application, I would also like to highlight that:
- The area in the vicinity of the site is already very well served by broadband internet and further developments are currently ongoing (e.g. Hyperoptic is currently installing fibre underground throughout the conservation area), so there is no "critical need" for this 5g infrastructure, notwithstanding what the applicant says in its application. This should be taken into account when considering the balance between the need for this specific 5g mast and other public policy considerations (such as public amenity) when assessing this application.
- The proposed siting of the equipment boxes at the street level is completely irrational. It is proposed that they will be located in the middle of the public footpath, significantly reducing the available space for pedestrians and other users. What is the applicant's rationale for occupying so much footpath space and inconveniencing pedestrians, rather than siting the boxes beside the existing boxes on the east edge of the footpath?
- There is already a telecoms mast located along the train line on the south side of the Tube railway tracks, adjacent to Lydford Road. Given the presence of multiple conservation areas and listed buildings in the vicinity of the proposed mast, what consideration has the applicant given to reinforcing and/or sharing that mast, consistent with the requirements of the Code of Best Practice on Mobile Network Development in England (2016 Edition), or otherwise siting the mast along the railway at a suitable distance from the existing tower, where it would not be as much an eyesore?
- There is already a telecoms mast located along the train line on the south side of the railway tracks, adjacent to Lydford Road. Given the presence of multiple conservation areas and listed buildings in the vicinity of the proposed mast, what consideration has the applicant given to reinforcing and/or sharing that mast, consistent with the requirements of the Code of Best Practice on Mobile Network Development in England (2016 Edition), or otherwise siting the mast along the railway at a suitable distance from the existing tower, where it would not be as much an eyesore?
Regarding alternatives, as suggested by some of the Objectors, including updating existing masts in the area, the Applicant states:
The very nature of installing new 5G mast infrastructure within such an urban setting requires a highly considered balance between the need to extend practical coverage reach with that of increasing risk of visual amenity intrusion. In this location, existing mast sites are not capable of supporting additional equipment compliment to extend coverage reach across the target area and prospective ‘in-fill’ mast sites are extremely limited.
There is an acute need for a new base station to provide effective service coverage and in this case, the height of the proposed street pole is the minimum required to bring the benefits of 5G to this area.
I heartily agree with the lengthy objections described above.
I also think the photograph of the proposed site for the mast is extremely misleading - it makes the area available look much larger than it is. The photo should be replaced with one that shows how cluttered the pavement would be. It is already cluttered.
I also think that we can't be sure what the health risks are, however much they are denied.
I also think we don't need 5G anyway - our internet use is quite satisfactory. These masts transmitting all over the country remind me of Big Brother watching over us. Am I the only person to think that technology is progressing faster than mere mortals can cope with or know how to use.
We don't want smart motorways- or smart cars - and online shopping is ruining shopping as we know it ... Social media has some hideous side effects - the promotion of terrorism, the grooming of children, the abuse of some people by another group..
I have read the objections to the proposed 5G mast on the corner of Dartmouth Rd and am puzzled by the last two line paragraph which seems to be ambiguous - is it saying that we need 5G masts but not in this location? Or is it saying we need a 5G mast in this location despite the objections?
It is not an objection - it is the applicant justifying the need for a mast at this location.
Yes thank you Martin i see where it changed from objections to applicant justification.
We really don't need a 5G mast right on the corner of walm lane/ Dartmouth road .why not put it out of view,along the railway,away from people.
I know from experience,they give off electrical
Electrical sound waves, which become extremely annoying when you are trying to get to sleep at 1 AM
I'm in total agreement with your compaint about this
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