Sudbury Councillors support residents’ opposition to telephone mast in green space in Vale Farm, Sudbury Avenue

Sudbury Councillors have been helping residents on Sudbury Avenue to object to proposals for a company called WHP Telecoms to install a 5G telephone mask in some green space on the east side of Vale Farm. Given the green space and the status of Vale Farm in the Sudbury Neighbourhood Plan, the proposal is clearly unsuitable and we will do everything we can to see off this development, as the particular site proposed is clearly unsuitable.

Since July last year, Sudbury Councillors have been supporting residents in Sudbury Avenue with their campaign against the installation of a 15 metre 5G monopole in green space on the east end of Vale Farm (Brent Council ref: 20/2107).

Local residents are not opposed in principle to important new infrastructure, but they have raised some very measured and reasonable concerns about the proposed location of the new development. Like them, we also have issues with the way the developer has gone about the process, with minimal consultation and with some inaccuracies in their appeal document.

The lack of consultation on phone masts is proving to be a key issue across many local communities, as the 5G roll-out goes under-way. This is vital infrastructure, but sometimes developers try to rush through these applications without any regard to local communities.

This was one such case. The proposed location is wholly unsuitable, as it sits within vital green space in Vale Farm which is protected by the Sudbury Neighourhood Plan. They propose to construct it in a relatively quiet area next to a park bench, where it is liable to cause noise pollution for residents on the other side of the road.

There are also valid concerns that it will enroach onto the narrow pavement nearby, which is frequently used by residents with families, using buggies and wheelchairs. There is a very real concern that it will restrict their access.

Despite repeated requests, the developer has refused to disclose the basis for thinking why this is the most appropriate location for a development of this kind. Cllr Saqib Butt, on behalf of the three Sudbury Councillors, also wrote to the developer to seek a meeting to discuss these issues alongside residents, but we never received a reply to his request.

In many occasions planning legislation means that local councils’ planning departments are hamstrung in the grounds they can use to refuse them. However, in this case, following residents’ objections, Brent Council’s planning department refused the application on very clear and strong grounds. The developer has since appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, and we have supported residents in raising objections and submitting our own.

The case is now due to be considered by the Planning Inspectorate. As before, we will continue to work with residents to support their reasonable objections and organise their campaigning. Indeed, we would like to thank Sudbury Avenue residents for their excellent work and stellar campaigning in seeing off their initial proposal.

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