Bishop's Avenue Phone Mast Refused by Council

Victory for local people who campaigned against 20 metre high 'eyesore'

Visualisation of the mast from the applicant's submission

An application to install a 20 metre high 5G mast at the entrance to Bishop’s Avenue has been refused by Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s Planning Committee.

The council’s decision is a victory for local people who campaigned against the proposed ‘eyesore’ which would have been close to All Saints Primary School and also sitting at the main entrance to Fulham Palace and Bishop’s Park.

The application, ref 2022/01759/FUL made by mobile infrastructure services company Cornerstone on behalf of Telefonica, was for a “telecommunications base station comprising a 20m monopole hosting 6 no antennas together with 3 no ground based cabinets and and ancillary development thereto”.

The application said mobile phone users would benefit from a more reliable service with access to the 5G network if the plans went ahead and, claiming that the mast was likely to be screened by mature trees, said: “ It is considered that there will be no substantial harm to, or loss of, any heritage assets as a result of the proposal.”

Opponents of the plan have put posters near the site
Opponents of the plan put up posters near the site

However these claims were rejected by the planning committee. Joanne Woodward, Chief Planning Officer of The Economy Department, said the reasons for refusing full planning permission were as follows:

1)The proposed development is considered unacceptable on visual amenity grounds and
its impact upon the setting of the scheduled monument, the grade II* registered park
and garden at Fulham Palace, and the grade II registered park and garden at Bishop's

More particularly the development, by virtue of its excessive height, bulk and
mass, its position on the grass verge, the increase in street furniture and the location,
would be visually prominent, incongruous and would result in less than substantial
harm to the setting of Bishop's Park Conservation Area and surrounding heritage

In this regard the proposal is considered to be contrary to Section 72(1) of the
Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, paragraphs 199 and 202
of the NPPF (2021), Policy HC1 of the London Plan (2021), and Policies DC1, DC8,
DC10 and OS1 of the Local Plan (2018), and relevant Key Principles of the Planning
Guidance Supplementary Planning Document (2018).

2) The proposed development would have an impact on pedestrian safety, particularly the
children of the nearby primary school, as the mast and associated equipment location
would result in a loss of vehicle visibility from the highway and primary school vehicle

The proposal is therefore contrary to Policy T2 of the London Plan (2021)
and Policies T1, T3 and Key Principles TR12 and TR22 of the Planning Guidance
Supplementary Planning Document (2018).

Recommending refusal, planning officer Steven Mielczarek noted that 568 objections were received from local residents, with 29 in support. Objections were also received from Historic England and The Fulham Society.

A similar application to install a mast and cabinets on the other side of Fulham Palace Road by Colehill Gardens was turned down by the council two years ago.

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August 22, 2022