Preventing a forest of phone masts in Kings Cross

Phonemast The Orange mobile phone mast proposed for Wharfdale Road may be one of the first of a forest of masts to come in Kings Cross.  The Orange mast is needed to increase capacity for 3G in Kings Cross station.  The increase in people using the area over coming years will lead to more and more mast applications. Without a plan covering the Islington and Camden parts of Kings Cross we shall see an unsightly forest of phone masts sprouting from pavements and buildings, like the one in the picture. 

We need a decent strategy where the phone operators and the Councils sit down with residents, developers and businesses to figure out how many masts will be needed and where they go to avoid spoiling the area.

Off the back of Stephan's excellent post and mini campaign on the Orange mast, I raised this with Cllr Convery, the Chair of West Area Planning Committee, who would have to approve the Orange mast application.  I was pleased with this reply:

'I am also deeply concerned that we are about to see a rash of operators seeking to erect new telephony masts in the Kings Cross area. It is essential that we ask all the operators to collaborate on siting plans that will provide sufficient coverage of the enlarged station, the business and residential development that has already been completed but also the forthcoming new development across the Kings Cross Central sites.
I am very troubled to learn that the two Boroughs have not, so far, taken up the offer by the operators to discuss the annual roll-out plans produced in November 2008 by the operators.
I would therefore strongly urge the two Councils to work closely to ensure this happens. I am quite sure the West Area planning subcommittee would concur in this view and be very reluctant to grant a permission for the proposed Wharfedale Road mast – irrespective of the merits or otherwise of the particular location currently being considered.
I have also written to the operators today saying that, in my view, there should be a moratorium on any new site permissions until a co-ordinated approach has been agreed.'

Will keep people updated on this process as it moves forward so that the community can have a say in where the masts go.

About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
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