The future doesn’t look bright for Maida Vale ahead of phone mast plans

Maida Vale residents are preparing themselves for battle once again after proposals for a mobile phone mast near a tranquil green spot were re-submitted – eight months after they were rejected.

Phone giants Vodafone and O2 have submitted a slightly amended application to build the mast at the quiet intersection between Elgin Avenue, Castellain Road, Lauderdale Road and Morshead Road. The area is currently filled with trees and flower beds.

The original application for a 40-foot pole and equipment boxes was rejected by Westminster Council last October because its “size, height, detailed design, and location” went against the policy of the Maida Vale Conservation Area.

The new plans will see a “shorter shroud” – which is the casing around the top –and a “more uniform girth” but the height is unchanged, with two radio equipment cabinets at ground level.

Kay Konop, who owns the nearby Plan 9 caf�, collected a 150-signature petition against the previous application and says 200 people have already signed a new one.

“Fundamentally what they do not understand is that it doesn’t matter if it is slightly bigger or smaller than last time,” she said. “There are still two huge boxes and it’s not in keeping with the conservation area.

“I can’t change my sash windows in the conservation area so why would I be able to erect a 10-metre high pole?”

Most Read

She also questions why the applicants are able to “waste everyone’s time and money” in submitting the new application after the previous one was rejected.

“In less than a year all they have done is shave off a tiny bit of it and they are allowed to do it again,” she said. “None of our objections has changed.”

Opponents to the application argue the mast would add clutter to the streets, obstruct views and inhibit daylight. However, the applicants state the site “is required for 2G and 3G coverage” and will “improve indoor coverage to the residential and commercial areas around Maida Vale”.

The design statement says the site has been chosen to “not obstruct movement of pedestrians” with the height “sympathetic to the conservation area setting”.

It adds: “It is considered that the need for the installation is proven and should outweigh the extremely limited visual impact.”

The application is now ‘pending consideration’ from the council. with a decision expected by the end of July.