Anger at Lack of Notice for Blondin Park 'Monster Mast'

20 metre high structure will be double the height of nearby trees

Blondin Park. Picture: Shazz


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There has been an angry reaction from residents living near Blondin Park in Ealing on hearing of plans to build a 20 metre high mast.

Many people were unaware of the plan until after the official consultation period has ended and are furious that the application was proceeded with during the coronavirus lockdown. They contend that it was difficult for people to find out about the plan given that restrictions on leaving homes makes it unlikely that notices placed at the site would be seen and the statutory notice was placed in a newspaper not currently circulating in the area as required by law.

The application site is located within the eastern corner of Blondin Park on a grassed area adjacent to the shelter. The 5G monopole would be double the height of nearby trees. The park itself is designated Public Open Space. This proposal is part of a plan to replace the existing EE and Three site located at Boundary House, Boston Road, Hanwell.

David Millican, the Conservative councillor representing Northfield Ward said, “It is a major concern that planning applications are only posted on lamp posts and residents are expected to see these. This is even worse at the current time given that so few of us are venturing out during the lockdown. The council have recognised this, to some extent, in that they have extended the consultation period under most circumstances, to 42 days during the lockdown. However we still have to spot the notices stuck up on lampposts. Despite all this there is no extension permitted in the case of this application, which is for a massive 20 metre high telecom mast, in much loved Blondin Park, and which will tower over all the trees. “

Drawing from application showing scale of mast
Drawing from application showing scale of mast

Another objector said, “‘We only found out about this consultation by chance, at the very last minute. It was very inappropriate to submit a planning application during lockdown when people are staying home and won't see the notices.’

Some other people opposed to the scheme have objected on the grounds of potential health risks of 5G. The government have advised planning authorities that the scientific evidence does not give any indication of any extra risk from this technology and therefore this would not be considered as valid grounds for an objection.

Planned location of mast
Planned location of mast

The applicant says that this new mobile telecommunications infrastructure is required to ensure continued provision of mobile services following the loss of an operational site from the network for reasons beyond the operator’s control. The structure comprises a 20 metre high monopole
supporting 12 antennas at the top of the pole along with 2 small externally located dishes. The monopole would be accompanied by 8 equipment cabinets at the base

A pre-application consultation was sent to Ealing Council via email on the 9 March. Ealing’s planning officer said that the due to the close proximity to residential dwellings the proposal would be contentious and asked the applicant to reconsider the location, potentially on a rooftop. The applicant said that after a ‘thorough search’ no suitable alternative location could be found.

5G operates across multiple spectrums and therefore requires additional antennas and new equipment cabinets. The signals that are broadcast are more prone to the shadowing effect of adjacent buildings or structures, and also the effect of tree canopies reducing the broadcast
range and effectiveness of the antennas. Consequently, the height of the 5G antennas needs to be raised meaning such high masts, dubbed ‘monster masts’ by objectors will become more common. The higher frequencies that 5G will use can provide more bandwidth and thus greater capacity but the signal will not travel as far as those of previous generations. This will mean that more of these masts will need to be built than were needed for previous generations of mobile technology.

You can see more details of the plan and comment on the application on Ealing Council’s web site.

We have asked Ealing Council for comment on suggestions that the notice given to residents was inadequate and the legality of notices for applications being published in a newspaper which is not available to people affected. Additionally we have asked if Ealing Council will be paid for siting the mast in a public park but we have not yet received a response.

April 30, 2020

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