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20metre microwave communications mast on edge of Norwood Park


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#1 Otterygirl

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 01:55 PM

Network Rail have been busily building the infrastructure for a microwave communications mast which will be located on a raised plinth and measure over 20metres on the edge of Norwood Park off Finch Avenue.
The intrusive monstrosity will not only be damaging to the environment and views from the park but will tower over the homes of residents in Gipsy Road like a monster from a Sci-fi movie.
Setting aside the health fears of living so close to these types of masts and the impact on house prices in these tough times, Network Rail has made no attempt to contact residents about their plans to put up this mast.
Why? Apparently they don't have to because they are using a legal loophole to put up 2,000 of these things across the country.
Only recently residents in Shakespeare Road were shocked to open their curtains to find a similar 23 metre mast had been put up overnight.
Residents in Gipsy Road have been unable to find out from Network Rail's so called customer relations advisors when this mast will be erected.
Residents have contacted the council, councillors and Friends of Norwood Park about the siting of the mast so close to the park and homes. They were similarly unaware of Network Rail's intentions.
If BT wanted to put up a telecommunications tower they would have apply for planning permission and consult with residents Network Rail don't have to.
Network Rail claim these masts improve radio coverage and prevent accidents but we are the only European country investing over £200million in public funds in them.
There are tons of newspaper articles about these masts across the country and how Network Rail has railroaded through peoples lives. In Berkshire and Sutton Coldfield residents took physical action and blocked Network Rail from putting the masts up.
Some people have lived on Gipsy Road for 25 years and there are many families with young children who are concerned about health issues relating to these masts.
Now residents in Gipsy Road have got together to form the Stop the Mast campaign. We hope you will support our bid to get Network Rail to meet with residents and at least open a debate on the siting of the mast.

#2 park

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 02:52 PM

Hi Otterygirl. You have our vote against.

#3 Bri_957

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 03:18 PM

I wonder if people campaigned in the same way to stop the TV mast in Crystal Palace park being built?

#4 grrrth

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 06:43 PM

This sort of thing annoys me. It just reeks of NIMBYism. People moan when they have terrible mobile phone reception, etc. and then complain when the communications companies try and do something about it.

You can't always have it both ways.
:: Gareth
:: Twitter: @grrrth :: http://bourne.gg :: http://iphonereportage.net

#5 RetiredMember1

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 06:47 PM

Second vote against from me too.

#6 swingsound

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 07:20 PM

If it were a mobile phone company offering better service to users with a communication mast I'd agree... as they are required to follow the normal planning controls which apply to us all that protect the impact on peoples homes and health BUT it's Network Rail who are not required to even inform local residents and can build any size structure, that transmits microwave technology - technology still untested for long-term exposure - EVEN Network Rail won't place them by schools but will construct a mast right next to your home exposing your family 24/7. They are ugly steel-grey structure's that stand the height of a seven-storey building... not really comparable to the spectacular design of Crystal Palace tower that delivered a ground-breaking technology to millions around the south of the country. Let's face it we all know that better communication with the local community selecting a safe and agreeable location would slow up the process and cost more money for Network Rail - I find it hard to justify any of the rail companies actions, vast amounts of our public money to a private company who provide a very unreliable and expensive service. Thankfully, technology moves forward so it is a given our environment will change but with that the location selection of these masts dramatically affects the locals living near them and it appears they are the only ones who have no control or say in process - that's what needs to change...Attached File  P1030469.jpg   34.87KB   4 downloads

Edited by swingsound, 22 December 2010 - 07:21 PM.


#7 swingsound

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 12:55 AM

This sort of thing annoys me. It just reeks of NIMBYism. People moan when they have terrible mobile phone reception, etc. and then complain when the communications companies try and do something about it.

You can't always have it both ways.


... this doesn't have anything to do with mobile phone reception!

#8 park

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 10:38 AM

... this doesn't have anything to do with mobile phone reception!


Along with everything else that has been said in objection as far as the park is concerned if we are in danger of losing one of our heritage oak trees because of this blasted thing they have another thing coming.

#9 swingsound

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 11:03 AM

Along with everything else that has been said in objection as far as the park is concerned if we are in danger of losing one of our heritage oak trees because of this blasted thing they have another thing coming.

I'm afraid it will have a very serious impact on the oak trees there, the planned construction is nestled amongst the growth of one of the largest oak trees at the bottom of the park. The mast and microwave transmitter nodes will be higher than the tree growth even in the summer and the whole construction will visually swamp the oak tree in the winter.
Plus the transmitter emits very intense heat radiation close to the nodes, the heating effect is identical to that used in a microwave oven but constant and much more powerful with a full range of 9 miles... believe it or not the American's and Russians even developed and USED this as a weapon. Sorry for more bad news....

#10 Axean

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 12:11 PM

I've come across the topic of the new railway transmitters before. The system is properly called GSM-R [link]

"The GSM-R is basically the same as the mobile phone networks the world is smothered in, except it's got some very specific security features and other facilities"


I've also, more than once, been provided with following type of info by railway workers who were initially concerned about health.

"The radio emissions from a GSM-R antenna/mast (or any public GSM installation) to where you are at ground level, are thousands of times smaller that you receive from holding a mobile phone to your ear despite the fact that your phone conversations last for a few seconds or minutes and the emissions from the mast are there 24/7. You can get even more exposure if your fingers cover the back of the phone."


That doesn't mean you shouldn't question the health implications, or the effect the works would have on neighbouring trees.

Network Rails 'permitted development rights' are a joke. I believe they do have a duty to consult but don't bother. They always, understandably, hide behind their permitted development right.

#11 Otterygirl

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 12:38 PM

I emailed the Executive Director, Operations and Customer Services at Network Rail Robin Gisby about this mast and in the main the lack of communications with residents. Within half an hour Nick Gray, who is head of Customer Relations at Network Rail contacted me.
He has promised to meet with residents and said the mast would definitely not go up before the end of January. He did make the point that they don't need planning permission and funnily enough made a similar point as Grrth about NIMBYism and people moaning about mobile phone masts but use mobile phones.
My point which I made to him is fair enough but if a telecommunications company puts up a mast it has to have planning permission which means consultation with residents and at least the chance to go along to a planning committee meeting to discuss it.
Mr Gray told me the contractor McNicols are meant to write to residents he said 2-3 weeks before the mast is put up. He said McNicols had told him they had written to residents in Grove Road. I can't find a Grove Road anywhere near the mast? If you live in Grove Road maybe you should look out your window for a mast?!
He also said that not only had Lambeth Council been informed about the mast last year but also the three ward councillors and MP Tessa Jowell had been told.
Obviously the ward councillors have changed and I pointed this out and that one of the new Labour Gipsy Hill councillors Niranjan Francis, who quickly responded to this matter and has visited residents, knew nothing about it and was flabbergasted by the height of mast and vicinity to residentís homes and the park.
Interesting though that our elected members hadn't bothered to tell residents about Network Rails plans?
I have found a letter which Network Rail sent to Croydon Council setting out a list of where these masts would be located in their catchment area.
I presume there is a similar letter for Lambeth? If any of the former Conservative ward councillors have a copy of it can we have it as it would put us in contact with other residents who probably don't know a mast is coming to their back yard sometime soon.
This issue doesn't just affect residents in Gipsy Road and Finch Avenue it could be happening right now to you....you just haven't been told.

#12 Otterygirl

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 04:35 PM

According to the plaque in Norwood Park dated March 1986 - the view is protected. It is a legal requirement within urban planning to preserve the view of a specific place or building from another location. The affect of this is to limit the height of new buildings in or near the sight line between the two places. Did Network Rail take this in to account when locating this mast?

#13 thekraken

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 01:25 PM

In South Africa they make mobile phone masts look like trees. On the coast they look like palm trees and inland they look like normal trees. So they blend into the background.

#14 swingsound

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 11:33 PM

Network Rail plan to complete the Gipsy Hill construction at the end of January... once it's up spoiling the park views it would be a very difficult task to get them to remove it - the more people that email the contacts below opposing the site the more chance we have of stopping it from happening, let's stop it now...

Nicholas.Gray@networkrail.co.uk / Network Rail Community Relations Manager

tessa.jowell.mp@parliament.uk / Local MP

blee@lambeth.gov.uk / Lambeth Town Planning (Bobby Lee)

#15 charlie

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 12:19 AM

Network Rails 'permitted development rights' are a joke. I believe they do have a duty to consult but don't bother. They always, understandably, hide behind their permitted development right.


Worth double checking Network rail's permitted development rights. I am aware that they do not need permission on land they own - but on land they don't own I am not so sure??? Do they own the land?

Just found this link on the Mast Sanity Site