Posted: 14.09.21 at 12:49 by Rory Poulter
Mobile phone giants are plotting to erect a series of mega masts up to 20m high close to green spaces and even in conservation areas across the Richmond borough.
The firms insist the masts are needed to support the roll-out of high speed 5G mobile phone services.
Four applications for sites ranging from Kew to Ham, Richmond and Twickenham are currently being considered by the Council, while more are thought to be in the pipeline.
All have triggered an avalanche of complaints from residents in the surrounding areas on the basis the masts will be an eyesore. Some have raised health concerns.
The applications currently in progress are:-
* 20m mast on pavement outside Broome Court, Sandycombe Road, Kew Village, which is a conservation area. Application number - 21/2640/TEL.
* 20m mast outside The Old Coach House, Petersham Road, Richmond, which is a Grade II listed building overlooking Ham Common. Application number - 21/2966/TEL
* 20m mast outside Forsyth House apartment block at 211 - 217 Lower Richmond Road, (A316) – carriageway near North Sheen cemetery. Application number 21/2686/TEL.
* 15m mast at the junction of Cedar Avenue And Hounslow Road, Whitton/Twickenham. Application number - 21/2963/TEL.
Just last week, an application for a 18m mast overlooking Hampton Village Green was rejected by planning officials at Richmond Borough Council, however the company involved may appeal.
The decision on these masts are routinely delegated to professional council planning officers, rather than being dealt with by elected councillors.
The Lib-Dem leader of the council, Gareth Roberts, had encouraged residents to oppose the Hampton plan, saying: “Nobody denies we need better connectivity but this site was simply unacceptable.”
Other applications have also been rejected earlier this year, however, these could also go to appeal.
The government has signalled it is keen to liberalise planning rules to allow mobile phone companies to push ahead with the erection of new masts which could, in some circumstances, be 50m high, in order to support new 5G mobile phone services.
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