Fight 12.5m telephone mast for Park Road - 20 days to respond

(31 Posts)
MNKingstonSurrey Sun 15-Feb-15 20:25:00

Local residents have asked for the following information to be shared.

Only the people opposite the proposed were informed and they received letters on the last day of term, preventing them from liaising with local parents through school who are likely to be in greatest opposition.

"We have now had the letter confirming that a planning application has been made and we have 21 days to respond, you can view and comment on the applications at:

I think we all need to make our comments and try to encourage 2-3 additional people to do so and encourage them to find a couple more then we have a hope of making significant noise. If anyone has connections with any of the schools, nurseries, scout hall etc. then perhaps they can get comments raised through them.

Objections at this point are:

The number of children (in the region of 2000) affected through this installation is huge: Four primary schools, four nurseries, guides and brownies, scouts, cubs and beavers and a sure start centre. It cannot be called a precautionary approach to masts near children as agreed by Kingston council.

St Agatha's (495), Latchmere (825), St Pauls new site (100?) as well as St Agatha's nursery, Oranges and Lemons nursery, Little Poppets nursery, Tudor Hall preschools. There is a sure Start centre at Latchmere school, there is a Guide hall at the end of Park Road and the Scout hut which run both their own programmes for children and a number of children's activities are run regularly in the halls.

There is already excellent coverage by O2 for both 3 and 4G and therefore the need for a such a mast is not recognised.

There is no crossing at the roundabout and many children need to cross here. Additional street clutter at this already busy junction will complicate the view of drivers needing to give way to the many cars, buses, fire trucks and ambulances that use the road creating additional danger for them.

A consultation with the community has not happened.

Once again application has been timed to a schools break where many families in the area are not available for the week and schools and clubs are closed.

There have been moves to create a Tudor Drive conservations area and this mast would not "be assimilated" into the area in light of such a scheme loosing part of the green areas which make it pleasant for residents and suitable as a conservation area. It is 4.5m higher than the lamp posts and 2.5m higher than the highest tree.

Please help us to fight this application!"

MrsROC Sun 15-Feb-15 21:13:24

Mobile phone companies are meant to be avoiding sensitive sites such as those by schools, nurseries, playgrounds. There is a youth centre, a playground, riding for the disabled all within 500m as well as all those listed above. Kingston Council say that will take a precautionary approach in the light of inconclusive evidence of safety. If this is precautionary.....

The area is in the middle of a residential zone, is at a crossing for children on their way to schools and nurseries at an already busy junction where accidents have happened. They are blocking one of the green spaces for children with potentially hazardous equipment for the sake of improving the already excellent phone signal in the area.

Help us block this development....we need numbers of people writing to object so if you are a sure start user, a parent at St Agathas or Latchmere or Poppets or Oranges and Lemons, a guide, brownie, beaver, cub, library user. Please add your name to the planning objections.

LouHarris Sun 15-Feb-15 21:21:24

We live just 50m from proposed site and haven't been informed. Speaking to people locally, very few people knew that a planning application had been submitted. We fought the mast that was initially proposed on King's Rd on the grounds we were concerned about it's proximity to local schools and it was on a busy junction. We have exactly the same issues about the Tudor Drive/ Park Rd site and I feel that the council are trying to sneak this through as they know there will be strong opposition in an area that is full of families with young children.

emmaholliday2008 Sun 15-Feb-15 21:57:53

This afternoon we met with a few local people who are concerned about the proposed planning application and we handed out copies of the letter to neighbours informing them of the proposal together with a list of concerns. What became apparent was that people were not aware of it and had not received the letter from the council. It is very alarming! Please write to the planning officer and state your objections to get it stopped. Forrest&strHeader=Y

MooseCakey Mon 16-Feb-15 15:29:37

I thought it might be helpful for me to point out some of the glaring errors and omissions in the posts here so far.

The mobile phone signal in this area is terrible. I live just round the corner from the proposed site and I can't make a call in my house without leaning out of an upstairs window or going into the garden. I tried to change network but they are all just as bad.

The grass verge where the mast will be located is hardly "one of the green spaces for children" as it has been described here, it's just a bit of grass near a roundabout. Anyone who lets their child play here should be much more worried about road safety than mythical mast dangers.

The new site for St Paul's which was suggested in the original post as holding 100 pupils presumably refers to Alexandra's plan to use the Barnfield centre. This plan was described as no longer the preferred option at a public meeting several weeks ago. I can only assume the other 'facts' are equally well researched!

Oh an the original poster must have much longer school holidays than my daughter, we only have one week for half term but she seems to have three weeks if she can't "liaise with local parents through school" at any point during the 21 day consultation period.

I would just encourage people to bear in mind the facts about the area and about the science around these issues before making a knee jerk opposition to this mast.

emmaholliday2008 Mon 16-Feb-15 16:00:49

Dear Neighbour
Planning Application Ref 15/12089 - 12.5m high monopole and 5 cabinets, junction of Park Road and Tudor Drive
We have been notified that the above application has been submitted to Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Council by agents acting for Vodaphone and Telephonica (o2). The proposal includes a 12.5m high monopole and a total of 5 equipment cabinets, the most of which are about 1.7m high.
The application can be viewed online on the Council’s website (search for Kingston planning applications and use the application number).
Local residents have until 2 March to voice any concerns about the proposal. These can be made online via the Council’s website or by letter to Andrew Forrest, Royal Borough Kingston upon Thames, Guildhall 2, High Street, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 1EU. Those concerns need to be made on planning grounds (but we understand that our worries about the health effects will not count). In addition to those health concerns, we are concerned about:
•The height of proposed mast. It is much taller than the surrounding houses and would be prominent across a wide area. The height and siting of the mast and cabinets would be highly visually intrusive (contrary to Kingston Core Strategy policy DM10).
•The height, arrangement and number of cabinets would create an unattractive visual clutter at the junction. It would harm the visual amenity value of an area of green space that contributes to the green suburban character and is a focal point in the street contrary to Core Strategy Policy DM10
•The scale and utilitarian appearance of the mast and cabinets would detract from the suburban character of the area and would be inappropriate contrary to policy CS8.
•The attractive residential character of the wider area would not be maintained, contrary to Policy KT1.
•The cabinets could affect adjacent trees that contribute to the green character and visual amenity of the locality and could harm their amenity value contrary to policy DM10.
•The cabinets would enclose the footpath, making the use of this stretch of footpath unpleasant, particularly at night and the hiding places they create could attract anti-social behaviour. This would be contrary to Policy DM10.
•Alternative sites have not been properly or fully explored.
•Inadequate pre-application consultation has been undertaken on the proposals
•The equipment could affect bats (which are a protected species)
•It could be the thin end of the wedge for more masts in this area
If you agree with us and would like to make objections to this to the Council please do so by 2 March 2015. The more people raise concerns the more chance that the Council will refuse the application.
Many thanks
Emma and Jude, your neighbours at 321 & 323 Tudor Drive

emmaholliday2008 Fri 20-Feb-15 17:39:46

I wish I had had the opportunity to review it first before it went out!

But at least it draws attention to it....

See the Kingston Guardian website and visit the following URL:

emmaholliday2008 Fri 20-Feb-15 17:42:55

Letter to our local MP Zac Goldsmith

Dear Mr Goldsmith,

We have been notified, on Friday 13th February, that the above application has been submitted to Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Council by agents acting for Vodaphone and Telephonica (o2). The proposal includes a 12.5m high monopole and a total of 5 equipment cabinets, the most of which are about 1.7m high.

I am an Architect and a mother of two young children aged two years old and four years old. As a mother, I have obvious concerns about this proposal on health grounds. However, we met with Councillor David Cunningham, on Saturday 14th February, at the Councillors Surgery to discuss the application and we were advised that we can not object to it on health grounds as they will argue that it complies with current regulations.

We have therefore focused our objections on the detrimental affect on this residential area, how it will be a blot on the landscape, have a negative impact on this corner site which acts as a gateway to the Tudor Estate. Our main issue is that of safety. The large 5 No. of cabinets will clutter up this site which will compromise the safety of children travelling to and from school on this well used path. It will be an accident waiting to happen with parents, carers & children travelling to local Schools (Latchmere & St Agatha's), nurseries at Forward House "Oranges & Lemons", the Sure start centre and community activities held at the Scout Hut. It is a busy junction used by vehicles and pedestrians on foot, in buggies and on scooters particularly small children . It will also devalue the properties in this area. It will be an ugly monolithic structure, a giant that is out of scale with the surrounding area, standing 4m taller than the existing street lamp posts and taller than the ridge of the roof tops of the existing houses. We have also been made aware of the negative impact on local wildlife in the area including bats.

We have spoken with our neighbours and have been alarmed to discover that they were not aware of the proposal and had not been sent the letter from the Council. Therefore we have put together a letter to local residents informing them of the application so they are informed and have the opportunity to oppose it. The timing of the application has meant that many people are currently away as it is half term and it is difficult to get hold of residents.

As well as canvassing local people we have also got in touch with the Kingston Guardian who are running an article on the application in the Surrey Comet. They sent a photographer to site on Tuesday 17th February and we were able (at short notice) to get local residents to meet for a photo shoot standing next to our banner. We had a good turn out and even had a dog and a horse on the photo. Please look out for the article in tomorrow's edition of the Surrey Comet. We hope this article will inform people who were ignorant of the application and give them an opportunity to object.

Our campaign is now gathering strength as people are being made aware of the proposal but we do not have much time before the deadline of 6th March. I have been advised to get in contact with our local MP to ensure they are also aware of the proposal and they understand strength of feeling of the opposition to it. So I thought it would be prudent to get in contact with you and ask if we could have your support? When the schools go back on Monday 23rd February we will seek permission to hand out flyers at the School gates to inform people of the proposal.

It would be good if you could help us spread the word and offer us your support. I'm sure you can understand our obvious concerns and help us to voice to our objections.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,


emmaholliday2008 Sat 21-Feb-15 11:33:51

Response from Zac Goldsmith MP

Dear Ms Holliday,

Although I am no expert on the health implications of mobile phone masts, I absolutely agree that there remain a great deal of uncertainties. The Stewart Report of 2000 for instance discourages the use of mobile phones by children, a position supported by the UK Chief Medical officers, who strongly advised that children under 16 years of age should avoid using mobile phones altogether. In Stockport, the Council banned mast transmitters from schools in 2001, based on the same report.

However mobile phones are a vital part of modern life, and they wouldn’t work without a network of masts. Every application is opposed by immediate neighbours, and it would not be honest (or possible) for me to object to them all. I tend therefore to object only where they are sited inappropriately, for example next door to schools. In this instance I hope you will understand why I want to consult your local Councillors before taking a view.

Best wishes in the meantime,

Zac Goldsmith
MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston

emmaholliday2008 Sat 21-Feb-15 11:37:34

I have been contacted by several neighbours & informed that contractors arrived this morning and have already started excavation work for the proposed Monopole. This is alarming! Despite our letter from the council giving us the opportunity to object it appears that they are going to go ahead regardless of public feeling and any objections raised. It saddens me as I thought we lived in a democracy. I feel so powerless.

MooseCakey Tue 24-Feb-15 15:08:34

What do you mean by excavation emmaholliday2008? I've been past there several times since your last post and there don't seem to be any holes dug. Wondering if the people who told you about this were just stirring?

Interesting response from Zac Goldsmith, highlighting a good point: the health risks around children using mobile phones are unclear but the risks around being near poles are not. Only one council, Stockport, of all the hundreds of councils in Britain has banned poles near schools. And this proposed pole isn't outside a school!

emmaholliday2008 Tue 24-Feb-15 16:17:47

There was indeed a hole dug there- my husband saw them digging at 8.30am on Saturday morning but since then they have filled it in. A concerned neighbour sent me some photos. I have had a reassuring email from Councillor Maria Netley that they will look into it. I will post her response once I have her consent. My mother sent me an interesting article about the risks of phone masts written by Andrew Goldsworthy BSc PhD (an Honorary Lecturer in Biology at Imperial College London). I have two children and their bedrooms will be under 20m from the mast and the local schools will be under 300m (0.18 miles) from the School. I understand that it is the same distance if not nearer than the previous application. I will be writing again to Zac Goldsmith to inform him of this. I think it is a missed opportunity for him to get behind this campaign. It is gathering strength. But thank you for your views it's good to keep the debate going!

emmaholliday2008 Tue 24-Feb-15 23:10:30

I can now post this as I have Maria Netley's consent.

Apologies - I sent this out earlier, but had the wrong e-mail for you


I am sure you are aware that we (Cllrs David, Hugh and myself) have been monitoring the situation as regards the application for a new mobile telephone mast on the junction of Park Road and Tudor Drive (Planning Application Ref 15/12089). We are very concerned that the phone mast contractor has yesterday carried out a test bore hole on the site which does not have planning permission.

The consultation period does not end until the 6th March and we can assure you absolutely no permission has been granted. In fact it's reasonable to say that given the location it is likely that the Planning Officers would refuse the application outright, however if they do not we will insist that the application comes to committee for determination.

We will confirm this in due course but in the meantime please be aware that your local Councillors will be continuing to press the applicant to seek alternative, more suitable locations.

We are additionally assured that Planning Officers will be looking into the matter of the work undertaken this weekend and any breach of planning control (actual or intended) will be investigated and remedied.

Maria Netley

emmaholliday2008 Thu 26-Feb-15 16:07:26

Email from Zac Goldsmith MP

Dear Emma Holliday,

Following our recent exchange in relation to the proposed mast on Park Road, I wanted to send a brief update. Having raised the issue with local Councillors, I have objected to the Council directly as I don't believe the proposed site is appropriate. I have every confidence Council officers will take objections seriously.

Best wishes,

Zac Goldsmith

emmaholliday2008 Mon 02-Mar-15 17:25:53

Hi All,
Bulb Planting on Wednesday 4th March 3.30pm – please come!
We are organising a bulb planting event as part of our campaign on Wednesday 4th March at 3.30pm. We have ordered 350 (Narcissus/ Daffodils) bulbs from Porters, the grocers, on Park Road. These bulbs are in clusters of 4 in pots and are about to flower. The idea is that each bulb will represent one of the 350 signatures we have collected for our petition. We will then plant them in the soft ground that was churned up and damaged by the contractors that were on site (on Sat 21st February). As they are about to flower we hope that it will have an instant visual impact. The Kingston Guardian has agreed to run another story on it in this week’s edition of the paper. We are asking people to gather for the photo so we can send it to the paper. We want to show a united front and enhance the area at the same time. It has been brought to our attention that the Tudor Area Residents Association Kingston (TARAK) planted bulbs there in memory of the late secretary of the Ham Horticultural Society, Jo Condon. These bulbs would be in addition to these and it would help restore the area after the damage done to any of the existing bulbs by the contractors. We have consulted with TARAK before embarking on this event. We have also sought permission Quadron Services who are responsible for all grounds maintenance and associated activities within the Royal Borough of Kingston. We hope to also use this event to help raise awareness & collect further signatures for the petition & hand out flyers. The deadline for the consultation period ends on Friday 6th March and we are trying to do all that we can before the deadline. We feel that this would be a positive approach.
We do hope you can join us- 3.30pm on Wed 4th March on the green. Please help spread the word!

emmaholliday2008 Mon 02-Mar-15 18:41:02

Change of time to 3.45pm to allow for the School run!

emmaholliday2008 Tue 03-Mar-15 17:19:47

Zac Goldsmith MP unfortunately can not make it but we have his support- see his email response below:

Dear Emma,

This is a wonderful idea. I would have loved to have been there, but it clashes with a Select Committee hearing that I must attend.

Best wishes and thank you!

Zac Goldsmith
MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston

emmaholliday2008 Tue 03-Mar-15 17:22:38

We look forward to seeing everyone who can join us tomorrow,
to plant 400 bulbs representing 400 signatures to say
We'll be at the Junction of Tudor Drive and Park Road from 3.45pm.
(Not long now before the deadline date of 6th March)

MNKingstonSurrey Wed 04-Mar-15 10:19:22

Thanks for keeping us updated emmaholliday2008 - we have tweeted this information from @MumsnetKingston to drum up further support.

Be great to share photos tomorrow.

Very best of luck daffodil

emmaholliday2008 Wed 04-Mar-15 10:46:47

We have 400 bulbs ready to plant this afternoon
400 bulbs representing the 400 signatures (& counting)
We look forward to seeing everyone at 3.45pm today.
At the corner of Tudor Drive & Park Road & we will have the petition there with us to sign. Many thanks for your support!

emmaholliday2008 Thu 05-Mar-15 21:24:54

We had a great day yesterday. Thank you to everyone who came along & took part in our flower protest event. We planted over 400 bulbs to represent the 400 signatures we had collected. We had a fantastic turn out about 30 grown-ups and 20 children all got stuck in to plant the bulbs. The flowers should start flowering soon which will give us all hope as we wait for the decision. The deadline date is tomorrow Friday 6th March. Today we went to the Council Offices and handed over the petition sheets, we had reached the grand total of 550 signatures, which is a fantastic total. Thank you to everyone for your support!

emmaholliday2008 Tue 10-Mar-15 11:08:51

We are waiting to hear of the decision officially by the end of this week but it is looking hopeful- last night, we had an email response from Councillor David Cunningham, see below:

"I attended the meeting this morning and stated that the application is due to be determined this week.

I did indicate my understanding that the application would be turned down under officers delegated powers, but it is not yet official. It is anticipated that the application will be determined this week when the council officer returns later in the week and I will ensure that you receive the official notification just as soon as I receive it.



Cllr David Cunningham"

emmaholliday2008 Thu 12-Mar-15 21:26:09

Just a quick update on the above application. I spoke with the Planning Officer (Andrew Forrest) this afternoon and he confirmed that a decision is yet to be announced. Although, it was intended to announce the results tomorrow- Friday (13/03/15), it is more likely that this will now be announced by the end of next week. Andrew Forrest advised that the decision will be displayed on the website. Here is a link to the website- currently it still reads "in progress".
Not long now and soon we will know the decision.
Kind regards & best wishes,

emmaholliday2008 Fri 13-Mar-15 17:08:54


emmaholliday2008 Fri 13-Mar-15 17:23:53

If I am not mistaken the application reads that it has been rejected! Phew!

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