5G masts on corner of Blythe Vale & Perry Hill

I’ve just seen this on another local forum… worrying.

Like that other forum, I think this space should be for directly commenting on how we can object, rather than the people’s views on 5G.

https://nextdoor.co.uk/news_feed/?post=17592196603821

Unfortunately that Nextdoor conversation is behind a “registration wall” - and registration on that social network involves jumping through some hoops that many would be uncomfortable with.

Could you summarise the content for the benefit of members here please?

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Interestingly it was publicised yesterday that Hutchison 3G are selling all their cell sites to Cellnex so that they can raise about €10bn and invest it into 5G:

I don’t think this will change the planning application much - the application is DC/20/118720:

  • Total Consulted: 139
  • Comments Received: 35
  • Objections: 34
  • Supporting: 1

I’m not sure what the basis of the objections are though, it no longer seems possible to view public comments on the Lewisham website.

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@Pea I think in fairness this thread can be for people who are in support of the masts, as well as for those who oppose it and ways to contact the council either way about it with specific relevant points. I suspect more people will object, but who knows.

The proposal is here and the reference number to find the application is DC/20/118720 .

@ChrisBeach the thread link to by @Pea is specifically for people who object, though there are are other threads on Nextdoor and facebook groups. I believe in general the main issue is the location and people think it is too large for the area, and some people have concerns health wise from the mast and it’s proximity from a nearby primary school (for clarity I’m not expressing a view either way on these, just my summary of the objection). There was a counterview that the masts worked better in more densely populated areas hence the proposed loctation, and some people in favour as they want 5G (though I don’t think those people specifically care where the mast is, more just wanting 5g). I’ve only skimmed through but I think that is an ok summary, but happy to be corrected by others.

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I doubt many people would welcome a pole 3 times the height of a streetlight being installed near their homes.

The wording of the address is confusing but it’s actually just one proposal, to install a mast in Blythe Vale (the name of the road) at the end where it meets the junction of Perry Hill/Catford Hill.

The document SITE SPECIFIC SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION is interesting. Two of the (I assume) standard criteria it covers are “Location of site in relation to school/college” and “Will the structure be within 3km of an aerodrome or airfield”. Does anyone know the reasons for asking those questions? Airfield might be to do with interference of transmissions but what about proximity to school or college?

Pages 9-10 of the same document includes a map showing nearby locations that were considered and the reasons they aren’t suitable.

Half-way along Cranston Road was “discounted due to dense residential street”.
Two sites on Stanstead Road were discounted because they would be overlooked by residential dwellings.

Both seem odd reasons to discount then, but maybe Blythe Vale is just the least worse option. Certainly from a pavement obstruction point of view I think it’s the least intrusive as that end of the road is blocked to traffic and so long as parking is prohibited it shouldn’t hinder pedestrians too much.

Are there justifiable health concerns about 5G transmissions?

It’s worse for your health to drink alcohol or eat meat.

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Absolutely, but my point was more if they did they could, or should have the right to post.

I’ve not read anything concrete myself, though I will put my hands up and say I’ve not really looked into it extensively either.

I think @oakr has nicely summarised.

I haven’t read enough about impact on health but will do this weekend. I’ve seen many arguments for both sides.

I think it is more likely because a structure almost 18m tall may need special consideration if aircraft are taking off or landing nearby.

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I’m happy to share the objection I put in against a particularly bad case, at the junction of Sydenham Road and Porthcawe Road, Bell Green. As you can see, I’m not interested in the height, but the shoddy, ugly and bulky cluster of 6 or so cabinets that are littered around each monopole. These are both ugly and obstruct pedestrian flow; the companies involved would find it easier to get permission if they invested in a quality upgrade of these elements.

I understand that people have health concerns, but I don’t. Do be aware that such comments are classed as not material objections, so your objections would be ignored. Stick to the bulk and visual impact of the cabinets and base, and pedestrian flow.

My comment

"I object to this application for the following reasons:

  1. The height of the monopole, and its associated unsightly, poorly designed cabinets would be visually dominating, detracting and from the streetscape.

  2. The site of the installation is unacceptable, in further restricting pedestrian space in a cramped stretch of pavement. Currently, it is hard to negotiate walking past the crowded bus stop, and social distancing is absolutely impossible. The proposed site currently acts as a passing place, allowing pedestrians to make way for people with prams or mobility scooters coming from the Bell Green end of the pavement. Reducing pavement width, at a time of social distancing, would be damaging to the health of the local community.

  3. The site of this installation would also make it an eyesore; it is not placed next to the boundary wall of the current property, but much further out into the pavement, making it visually prominant, and attract more attention.

  4. The ‘island’ site, marooned in the middle of the pavement, would also be a hazard to the visually impaired.

For each of these reasons, I hope that Lewisham Council will reject the current application.

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While these may be valid objections for the Bell Green site, in this case the cabinets are planned for the end of Blythe Vale where the pavement is wider and the road is a dead-end. Therefore I think objections based on pedestrian flow maybe easily dismissed.

For anyone interested, I found some pictures of what these things look like else where:


Source: https://pedroc.co.uk/content/ee-three-monopoles

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Surely they could make them less ugly. There’s one down by Dulwich Park on the South Circular like that too. On the one hand who doesn’t want 5G but let’s make some effort… this is one I spotted in Qatar a couple of years ago.

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South Africa has Monkey Puzzle tree masts. Whilst not entirely real looking they help.

As an aside, we have a massive telecoms tower near Horniman Primary and two huge ones in Crystal Palace, these 5G ones don’t really compare.

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I’m really confused actually. The planning mentioned Blythe Vale, Perry Vale/Rise and Bell Green. But the maps only show the plans for Blythe Vale. Where are the other two sites? Am I missing something?

I didn’t see anything about Perry Vale or Bell Green either. Perhaps they are going to be future plans…

Interesting to look at other “Telecoms Prior Approval” applications on Lewisham’s website.

One for a monopole on Kirkdale was refused:

DC/20/117829

“… a 20 metre high monopole supporting 6 x antennas; and 1 x 600mm dish; together with the installation of 12 equipment cabinets [my emphasis] and ancillary development at BP Service Station, 277 Kirkdale, SE26.”

Refused because:
“The siting, appearance and excessive height of the proposed monopole would result in an overly bulky, dominant and highly visible addition and the proposed cabinets and
palisade fencing would result in a visually cluttered streetscene, giving rise to
unacceptable impact on the local character of the townscape and visual amenity when
viewed from Kirkdale and Peak Hill Avenue, as well as wider views into and out of the
Cobbs Corner Conservation Area, contrary to Policies CS15 High quality design for
Lewisham, and CS16 Conservation Areas and the Historic Environment of the Core
Strategy (2011), Policies 30 Urban design and local character, 35 Public Realm, 36
New development, changes of use and alterations affecting designated heritage
assets and their setting, and 39 Domestic satellite dishes and telecommunications
equipment & Radio and telecommunications masts and infrastructure of the Development Management Local Plan (2014).”

It would be useful to look at Policy 39 of the Development Management Local Plan (2014).

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This was also refused:

DC/20/117993

“… installation of a 20m monopole, 6 no. antenna apertures, 2 no.
dishes, 4 equipment cabinets on the corner of Sydenham Road and
Porthcawe Road, Lower Sydenham SE26.”

because

“The siting of the proposed telecommunications equipment would result in the narrowing of the footway which would restrict the flow of pedestrian traffic, and would have a detrimental impact on pedestrian safety, contrary to Core Strategy Policy 15 High quality design for Lewisham of the Core Strategy (2011), and DM Policy 30 Urban design and local character, DM Policy 35 Public Realm and DM Policy 39 Domestic satellite dishes and telecommunications equipment & Radio and telecommunications masts and infrastructure of the Development Management Local Plan (2014).”

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This one is worth looking at. Prior approval was deemed ‘Not Required’. Southend Lane, monopole and cabinets on a grass verge (therefore not hindering pedestrian flow).

DC/20/117342

Do links work? https://planning.lewisham.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=_LEWIS_DCAPR_105261

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I think this may be due to changes in applicability of planning rules around telecoms masts. I’ve not been able to find if there was a definitive change (though didn’t try hard searching), but this article from industry renowned rag ‘The Register’ gives an idea of planned changes a year or so ago: