Anger Over Plan for 'Monster Mast' in Market Place

Vodaphone wants to install 20 metre high pole in conservation area

Anger Over Plan for 'Monster Mast' in Market Place
Location of the proposed mast from the planning documentation


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There has been an angry reaction from Brentford residents to a proposal to install a 20 metre high 5G mast in Market Place which is part of The Butts Conservation Area.

The structure would be in front of the Verdict Bakery and be three times the height of nearby trees and taller than the Magistrate’s House which fronts onto the square.

The mast would have six antennas and two transmission dishes. There would also be three equipment cabinets and an electrical meter cabinet at ground level which would require the removal of some seating and planters.

The application has been made by Cornerstone on behalf of Vodaphone. It says that the need for a mast in this location has arisen because the mobile phone company has been given a Notice to Quit the roof of Goddards where the mast is currently sited.

Drawing showing height of mast from planning documents submitted by Cornerstone
Drawing showing height of mast from planning documents submitted by Cornerstone

Cornerstone says that the application is being made In order to avoid a ‘significant and substantial reduction’ in the quality and capacity of network coverage to the area.

Brentford Voice is objecting on the grounds that the mast would have' a significant negative visual impact upon the street scene and be wholly out of keeping with the context and character of the surrounding area.'

It also says that the proposal would 'cause great harm to the setting and character of the Conservation Area' and to the setting and character of the Magistrates House, a locally listed building which is noted as a "Landmark" within the Conservation Area Appraisal.

In addition it states that the mast would would have a profound adverse impact upon the amenity of residents and would restrict pedestrian accessibility.

An objection has also been made by local resident Eric Baker who says, “Can anyone think of a crazier place to put a mobile mast, the height of The Angel of the North or nearly five stacked double decker buses?”

He points out that although the rules for permitted development of mobile phone bases were loosened earlier this year they still generally exclude Conservation Areas.

Mr Baker adds, “It’s not just that the applicants are trying to ruin our town square,
where we have markets and all sorts of events, e.g. the recent wonderful Brentford Canal Festival. It ignores or treats as irrelevant the planning status of the town square, the fact that it’s inside a much loved and rather special conservation area, and all the LBH action to recognise the town square as a real focus for Brentford.”

If approved, work to instal the mast would begin in November and be completed by the end of the year.

Any comments on the application must be made by 27 July by going to the council’s planning page and then searching for System Reference: PA/2022/1952.


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July 15, 2022

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