Three have submitted a 'prior notification' application (ref: 5/2021/3403) to build a 5G phone mast which will blight the character and appearance of Luton Road in Harpenden including views of the historic Nicky Line bridge. If this application were approved, it would mean the development would not need to undergo the planning application procedure and would effectively be fast tracked.
This petition asks St Albans City and District Council to reject this application which is proposed by CK Hutchinson Telecommunications UK Ltd.
Mobile connectivity is a key part of many people’s lives, but the chosen location for this mast has not been thought through. To date there has been no consultation with residents, a lack of notification of proposals for local residents, a lack of respect for local heritage and a lack of respect for the safety of pedestrians and drivers.
The proposed development of this 5G mast demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the character and history of the proposed site. This is particularly evident when reading the ‘Site Specific Supplementary Information’ document, whose defence of the proposed site relies on incorrect statements relating to the impact of the development and a lack of consideration of the unique character of this location.
This planning application does not adhere to many elements of the ‘National Planning Policy Framework’ as set out in further detail below. At a high level, this application does not take into account the local circumstances of the proposed site of development, and resultantly it would have a detrimental impact on the character, appearance and history of this much loved area.
1.The proposed development does not adhere to the ‘National Planning Policy Framework’ as it would have an extremely detrimental impact on the natural, built and historical environment of the area (para 2.8.c). The development would have an extremely negative visual impact on the historic character and appearance of what is a conservation area, in particular being placed only a few metres from a locally listed building known as the 'Nickey Line Bridge'.
i. This development would not integrate with the existing built environment, which is a conservation area, and would be visually detrimental to the area. The mast and associated equipment would appear utilitarian and be in stark contrast to the adjacent Victorian buildings and the 150 year old locally listed bridge. It would dominate intrusively and visually harm the appearance of the existing street scene, which serves as a distinctive part of the character of this area.
ii. This development would not respect the character or history of the existing built environment and street scene, in particular the long views of the Nickey Line bridge along Luton road. The bridge is described in the Councils ‘Conservation Area Character Statement’ as a monumental brick arch which is a major local landmark acting as an “archway” at the entrance to Harpenden. This character statement demonstrates the importance of the bridge and surrounding area to the history of Harpenden and its contribution to the street scene. As set out in section 16 of the NPPF, this historic environment needs to be protected to ensure it can continue to be enjoyed and contribute to the quality of life of existing and future generations.
iii. This development would not be camouflaged at all by any existing street furniture or other screening on the south side of the Nickey Line bridge and therefore would have a particularly large detrimental visual impact. The mast and its supporting equipment would be very prominent in the street scene to all those passing the site.
2. The proposed development would introduce conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists and vehicles, increase the risk to pedestrians of injury and impede the safety of passing road users at the junction of Hollybush Lane and Luton Road.
i. The proposed site would put pedestrians at risk and have a negative impact on their safety. The proposed site is at a junction between 2 roads, one of which is the busy A1081, where many people including a lot of school children cross the road. The large cabinets and mast will create an obstruction to drivers and therefore reduce visibility, increasing the possibility of a collision with a pedestrian.
ii. The proposed site would result in an increased risk of collision between road users. Holly Bush Lane is a one way street at this juncture and unfortunately residents often see cars come down Holly Bush Lane the wrong way. With these cabinets drivers turning left into Holly Bush Lane from Luton road, will be less likely to see these cars coming the wrong way increasing the likelihood of a road traffic accident.
iii. The proposed site would remove existing access which is regularly by works vehicles to access the embankment and bridge for essential maintenance, and others including highways/infrastructure repair.
Please help us stop this 5g development and sign our petition today.
Residents of Harpenden.