Relief for campaigners as Lewisham council rejects plan for 5G mast

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

Perry Vale residents living beside a proposed site for a new 5G mast are “hugely relieved” after Lewisham council said no to the plans.

Telecommunications company Hutchinson 3G UK, which owns Three, wants to erect an 18-metre 5G mast and three cabinets on the corner of Blythe Vale, Bell Green and Perry Rise.

Hundreds of thousands of 5G masts are being put up across the country to enable phone users to access faster connectivity.

The Government announced in July it was relaxing planning permission requirements around the masts to speed up the implementation of the 5G network.

It means firms no longer need to get full planning permission.

As a result, Three has permitted development rights to build a mast, but needed to get confirmation from the council as to whether the proposals were acceptable before work could start.

After looking at the plans and consulting with residents, the council decided that prior approval was required for the mast, and the “siting and design” of the proposals as they stand would be refused.

The head of planning wrote a letter relaying the decision, which said: “The siting and appearance of the monopole would give rise to an overly dominant and highly visible development, and the proposed cabinets would result in a visually cluttered street scene out of keeping with local character of the area when viewed from Perry Hill, Catford Road, and Blythe Vale.

“The siting of the development would narrow the footway with the potential to impact pedestrian safety.”

The application received 76 objections online and one comment of support.

Jessica Ormerod, who lives in Blythe Vale, organised a petition against the mast, which gained 126 signatures.

She said she was “hugely relieved” about the news, adding: “Our local community really came together to voice our opposition to what we felt would be a blot on our otherwise lovely landscape.

“I’m really proud of the amount of support the petition had from neighbours. It has been heart-warming.”

Rebecca Crawshaw, a resident in Blythe Vale, also campaigned in opposition to the mast.

She said: “I am so pleased that Lewisham council has refused this application. The huge number of objections from our local community shows what an important issue this was for us.

“Should the decision be appealed the local community stands ready to oppose the application again.”

Pictured top: The proposed location of the mast

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