Orange/T Mobile’s new merged entity, Everything Everywhere has made a planning application to erect a 25 foot black metal mast on the corner of one of our conservation area’s most beautiful streets – Redington Gardens. It is within 100 yards of a children’s playground and St Margaret’s School in 18 Kidderpore Gardens, within a third of a mile of St Luke’s Church of England Primary at 12 Kidderpore Avenue, within .5 mile of Hampstead Parochial C of E school and .6 of a mile of All Saints C of E Primary.
This is not the first time that Orange has sought to impose a mast in a built residential environment in Hampstead. The last time it was rebuffed was in 2009 when it tried unsuccessfully to erect a mast on Fitzjohns Avenue close to Lyndhurst Road and 7 primary schools. It was rebuffed with 400 objections. Of course, Orange’s application now has been submitted during the school holidays which will impact on objections.
The proposed mast is huge and will dominate the streetscene of this road which is an oasis of calm between the Finchley Road and West Heath Road. As with Fitzjohn’s Avenue, the charm of this part of the conservation area will be seriously damaged.
The scientific evidence of the health effects of mobile phone masts is divided. There seems to be a growing consensus that the effects on children are greater than on adults. Below are some links to sites which comment on the health effects.
The Ecolog Institute, a research organisation which examines the health effects of mobile phones, was commissioned to investigate the possible health risks of mobile phone masts. The 2003 Ecolog report confirmed:
'Given the results of the present epidemiological studies, it can be concluded that electromagnetic fields with frequencies in the mobile telecommunications range do play a role in the development of cancer. This is particularly notable for tumours of the central nervous system. 'The harmful effects of this unsafe technology is a time bomb which the telecoms industry is trying to obscure, just like the tobacco industry did with the harm caused by smoking. Unless the public starts to make a stand the serious impact on our health will increase dramatically before the government and phone operators have to admit the damage this technology is causing. Many of us are minimising our use of mobile and cordless phones, and removing wifi and other wireless technology so as to reduce our risks, despite the inconvenience, because the health risks are so significant.
I would suggest that Camden planning should reject this application. The height of the mast, which is taller than a giraffe, and its girth as shown in the photo above, confirm that this is a monstrosity which is out of character with the streetscene and conservation area. There are no other poles in the area of the height and size of this piece of equipment and it will stand out like a sore thumb.
The siting of the mast means that it has to be next to the curb. This means that it will not be masked by the trees close to the site. It stands proud in its setting, is overpowering and ugly.
The 2 huge cabinets which accompany it will be set back closer to the vegetation behind the mast, but they will still stand proud of the vegetation and restrict the path between the mast and the cabinets. Neither the mast nor the cabinets will blend into the streetscape and will irreparably harm the conservation area.
BT has applied for another green cabinet at precisely the site where Orange want to erect its cabinets. So, rather than there being 2 Orange cabinets, there will be three – 2 for Orange and 1 for BT. This proliferation of visual clutter is detrimental and should be rejected. The cabinets and pole will restrict the footpath which is regularly used by pedestrians.
The size of the mast and its need to be on the curb means that there is no scope for landscaping or screening to hide the impact of this monstrosity on the surroundings.
Orange has many sites on Heath Street, Finchley Road and surrounding areas. It does not need Redington Gardens for a site for that large mast. It must find another site away from the Redington/Frognal conservation area.
I call on Orange/T Mobile/Everything Everywhere to stop putting mobile phone masts in built up residential areas while the scientific data on health effects remains equivocal. If you agree with the content of this petition, please sign it. I will deliver to Everything Everywhere after 6 September, 2012.