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Plans for 5G mast next to children’s playground refused after causing ‘upset’ and ‘anxiety’


By James Mayer, Local Democracy Reporter

A 5G mast next to a children’s playground and between two primary schools in South London has been slapped down.

The 15m mast was planned to be placed in Earlsfield but Wandsworth council refused plans due to the “upset” and “anxiety” it has caused in the community.

Applicants CK Hutchison Networks wanted to plant the mast at the junction of Aldrich Terrace and Lidiard Road which saw 62 locals object.

The mast would have popped up just outside Swaby Gardens, a children’s playground and park between Earlsfield Primary School and Beatrix Potter Primary School.

Reasons for refusal were because of the mast being “visually discordant, unsympathetic and of intrusive scale and design that would result in excessive clutter in the street scene”.

Planning documents said: “The equipment would also result in an imposing and overbearing impact on the amenity of nearby residents and would impact the quality of the local play area.”

Previously, local mum Amy Bailey said: “It wouldn’t be nice at all, I would actually be quite put off coming here.”

Local dad Tom Lyons who lives opposite where the mast would be said: “A 15 metre steel grey vertical structure will be an eyesore for those living underneath it, those living nearby, those walking through the area and to the many, many families who come to enjoy the playground.”

Council planning boss, Cllr Guy Humphries, said: “This application caused a great deal of upset and anxiety in the local community and these were concerns shared by us in the town hall.

“We wholeheartedly agreed with local residents that this was absolutely the wrong location for such a tall phone mast. It would have towered over neighbouring homes and been an unsightly and unwelcome addition to the street scene.”

Previously, a spokesman for Three UK, which is owned by CK Hutchison, said: “5G roll-out is vital for residents and businesses in Earlsfield. We want to offer the community a reliable network experience and this site will be critical to making that happen.

“Masts needs to be situated where people will be using the service and, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage. We carry out extensive searches and surveys to evaluate all the options.”

Only one person supported the mast in planning documents.

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