Sunday, 18 September 2011

Continuing objection to proposal for phone mast

An appeal has been lodged with the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals challenging the refusal of the proposal to install a replica flagpole concealing three antennae to bell tower and ancillary meter cabinet at tower base of the listed St. Bride's Church in Hyndland.

I am continuing my objection to the proposal  and will submit an objection letter by 23rd September 2011 as follows:-

Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals 
4 The Courtyard
Callendar Business Park
Callendar Road
Fax: 01324 696 444

Dear Sir/Madam,

Case Reference: PPA-260-2023 (Planning Permission Appeal)
Address: St. Brides Church, 69 Hyndland Road, Glasgow, G12 9UX

Proposal: Installation of replica flagpole concealing three antennae to bell tower and ancillary meter cabinet at tower base of listed church
Planning Application Reference: 11/00355/DC

I object strongly to the above proposal on the following grounds:-

1.Strong local opinion against the proposal

There have been over 350 objections and petitions submitted calling for the proposal to be refused. The plans are not supported by the majority of residents living within the area which is overlooked by the proposed site on Hyndland Road.

2. Contrary to Planning Policy DES 3 - Protecting and Enhancing the City's Historic Environment

Within the City Plan, with reference to, DES 3, there is a presumption in favour of protecting conservation areas from inappropriate new development. The site for the proposed development does not meet the criteria for telecommunications on the Glasgow City Council’s own guidance for repairs, alterations and extensions detailed in DG/DES. Planning permission cannot be granted as “rooftop apparatus would be seen against, and detract from, historic and architecturally renowned skylines”. The proposal has an adverse impact on the skyline of an important listed building and is detrimental to the visual amenity of the area, negatively affecting the views of St. Bride's Church from surrounding streets and open spaces including Kingsborough Gardens and Westbourne Gardens.

3. Special importance of the proposed site to the city's heritage

St. Bride's Church is B listed and one of the five major ecclesiastical buildings in Dowanhill featured in the Glasgow West Conservation Area Appraisal (see page 68-69, Final Version – April 2011). It is a decorate Gothic Church begin in 1903 by GF Godley and completed in 1913 by H Tarbolton. As a significant part of the conservation area's heritage and a prominent landmark visible for miles, it is not a suitable location of mobile phone masts concealed as a flagpole. This jeopardises the integrity and appearance of this listed building and is detrimental to its special character.  The installation of a replica flagpole to conceal mobile phone masts in the tower of a B listed church is not in keeping with the area's architectural heritage or with the Glasgow City Council policies relating to development in a conservation areas.

4. Contrary to Planning Policy EN6 - Biodiversity

The proposed development will destroy the area's biodiversity, habitats and species. It will have an adverse impact on existing habitats or species protected by law including bats and birdlife.

St. Bride's Church is located within an architectural landscape characterised by specious private gardens, tree-lined streets and communal greenspace. Electormagnectic polution from the proposed antennae will affect the behaviour and abundance of bats in the vicinity. The disappearance of butterflies, bees, insects and sparrows vanishing from cities is attributed to mobile phone-related radiation.

5. Public health concerns

Radiation from mobile phones and towers has become a significant risk to public health in cities such as Glasgow. Analysis of the data from a Dutch study in 2003, showed effects of Universal Mobile Telecommunications Systems ie. third generation (3G, 3.5G) mobile technology. The proposed antennae will have an adverse effect on health of the local population including loss of memory, lack of concentration, disturbance in the digestive system and sleep disturbances.  The well-being of local residents including children, pregnant women, and people with medical implants or chronic illness will be put at increased risk from the installation of the antennae.

6. Existing provision

There is a concentration of mobile phone masts in the locality with the Telephone Exchange, accommodating mobile phones on its roof, only 150 metres away. There should not be an unncessary proliferation of mobile phones masts which this proposal inevitable promote.

I urge you to refuse this proposal to install mobile phone antennae in St. Bride's Church.

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