Proposal to build mast in green space in Vale Farm rejected by planning inspector, with support from Sudbury Councillors and local residents

As noted in a previous post, for quite some time we’ve been working closely with residents in and around Sudbury Avenue to fight off a developer’s proposal to build a 5G telephone mast in green space in Vale Farm – a wholly unsuitable location for a development of this kind. Following an appeal by the developer, we are pleased to confirm the planning inspector has now rejected this application and supported Brent Council’s original decision to reject the appeal.

Earlier in the year, a company called WHP Telecoms put in a proposal to build a 5G telephone mast in an area to the east of Vale Farm, on the opposite side of the road to some homes in Sudbury Avenue. Sadly the roll-out of 5G at a national level is causing challenges for residents and local Planning Departments alike, as they aren’t always in the most suitable locations and Councils can have limited powers to work with developers to identify more suitable locations. However, in this instance there were very strong grounds to refuse, and after strong representations from concerned residents – supported by the three of us as Sudbury Councillors – Brent Council’s Planning Department refused the application.

As is so often the case, after Brent Council rejected the application, the developer submitted an appeal to the planning inspector to seek to overturn the decision. We were pleased to once again work with residents in the nearby area to lodge concerns, and we also made our own representations. This is the detailed objection one of us (Cllr Thomas Stephens) submitted:

Cllr-Stephens-Planning-Inspector-Objection

Despite repeated requests by ourselves, the developer never disclosed the basis for submitting an application on this particular site, or the grounds for its claim that this was the only suitable site. They proposed to situate it within green space which is protected under Sudbury’s Neighbourhood Plan, and next to local amenity space (including a park bench) which would be inaccessible were the mast installed.

Nearby residents conducted a very effective and well-grounded campaign, giving firm and fair reasons why it wasn’t a practical location for this. We were happy to support residents in lodging these objections, and we subsequently wrote to residents in the surrounding area to inform them of the application and the progress in getting it rejected.

Yesterday (17 May), the inspector rejected the appeal and confirmed Brent Council’s original rejection still stands.

We are delighted by this decision. It is a clear vindication of the work of residents living around the site, and of Brent Council’s original grounds for rejecting the application. We were pleased to work with local residents living nearby to secure this rejection, and preserve this site as vital green and amenity space for local residents.

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