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It seems the City have licensed all their buildings on the Golden Lane Estate for mobile phone masts. On 17 December GVA (a company jointly owned by 02 and Vodaphone) sent a pre-planning consultation letter to some officials with regard to installing a base station with 12 masts on Bowater House. It would appear they intend to go to planning with this early next year. While some are worried about the health implications of this technology and believe it causes cancers, others will be concerned about the economic implications, since it has been estimated that property in buildings with masts erected on or near them are devalued by between 10 and 20 percent. Thus should this go ahead most leaseholders on the Golden Lane Estate are likely to see a decline in the value of their property of between £50,000 and £100,000, and some more. Residents in Barbican blocks such as Breton House and Ben Jonson House would also suffer losses, as will those who’ve bought Denizen flats off-plan.

Making sense of the claims and counterclaims as regards health and mobile phone masts at short notice is not easy. However it would seem the long term effects of mobile phone masts on health is under-researched, and with the switch to new systems such as 5G, different wavelengths are involved about which even less is known in terms of safety. Given this it would seem sensible as a precaution to locate base stations and masts well away from schools and not to site them on top of housing. Bowater House is extremely close to the Golden Lane Campus which houses two schools and a children’s centre, making it unsuitable as a site for the proposed mobile phone base station. Such positioning will also be of concern to parents and staff at CoLPAI, waiting for their school to move into its permanent building not much further from Bowater House than the Golden Lane Campus.

There are many other concerns including the potential need to reroof the Golden Lane Estate in the coming years and the cost and logistic issues of moving heavy equipment when this needs to be done. Residents in Burnhill House in nearby Norman Street say the equipment on their roof for which the lease was not renewed weighed two tons and was at least a contributory factor to subsidence and cracking problems in their block. They also say they were unable to sleep properly for the eight years of the mast lease due to the hum from the electricity transformer on their roof.

Information about 02 and Vodaphone’s plans were not sent to any residents in Bowater House and we assume no other Golden Lane Estate residents were direct recipients. The letter we have seen is addressed to Mark Field MP and suggests he can submit comments of his own or forward those of constituents to:

Community Consultation & EMF Enquiries, Building 1330 – The Exchange, Arlington Business Park, Theale, Berkshire, RG7 4SA. Email: community@ctil.co.uk

The letter Mark Field was sent came from Rebecca Skerrett. Email: Rebecca.Skerrett@gva.co.uk

You may wish to let those at both these addresses know of any concerns you might have within 14 days of 17 December 2018. You may also want to contact your local councillors and/or MP. Leaseholders will probably want to know if the City plans to compensate them for the devaluation of their homes should this go ahead, and both tenants and leaseholders are likely to want to know if any of the money made from leasing mast sites will be put into the upkeep of estates if they are erected. It would be useful to know exactly how much money the City is getting for this; it seems unlikely to match the losses leaseholders will suffer in terms of the devaluation of their properties and the wear and tear on buildings.

This piece about the devaluation of properties due to mobile phone masts is not from a UK website but takes examples from around the world including the UK: http://www.emfsa.co.za/news/property-values-desirability-cell-towers/

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Two other residents and myself met with journalist from the Islington Tribune to publicise the opposition to this. Expect to see something in an issue soon.

Time and time again the City of London Corporation sadly fails to consultant those who will be affected by decisions that will affect the lives of residents in a timely manner, as in this case.

The priority for the City of London Corporation is to generate as much income as it can from all of its assets, in this case the Freeholds of blocks that it owns within Golden Lane. The enjoyment of our lives within our properties whether leaseholder or tenant within Golden Lane and a more wider area will be affected, all in the pursuit of financial gains. Our Human Rights are about to become affected, write to every single Cripplegate Councillor, MP for the City and Westminster constituency, and the relevant telecommunications companies.

Cripplegate Ward Councillors:

Mark Bostock

Tel: 07712698486

Email: mark.bostock@cityoflondon.gov.uk

David John Bradshaw , Deputy

Email:  david.bradshaw@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Mary Durcan

Mobile:  07710 114244

Email:  mary.durcan@cityoflondon.gov.uk

David Andrew Graves, Alderman

Email:  david.graves@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Vivienne Littlechild JP, MBE

Tel: 020 7606 3030

Email:  vivienne.littlechild@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Susan Jane Pearson

Tel: 07714 777 692 

Email:  Susan.Pearson@cityoflondon.gov.uk 

William Pimlott

Email:  William.Pimlott@cityoflondon.gov.uk 

Stephen Douglas Quilter, BSc (Hons)

Email:  stephen.douglas@cityoflondon.gov.uk 

John Tomlinson, Deputy

Email:  john.tomlinson@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Rt Honourable Mark Field MP
Tel: 020 7219 8155
Office of Mark Field MP, House of Commons, SW1A 0AA
Email: fieldm@parliament.uk
Ms Rebecca Skerrett
GVA 
Email: Rebecca.Skerrett@gva.co.uk
Mark Evans
Chief Executive Officer
Telefónica UK (O2)
Email: mark.evans@o2.com

Mr. Nicholas Jonathan Read

Chief Executive Officer

Vodafone House
Newbury
Berkshire
RG14 2FN

Tel: 01635 33251
Email: nick.read@vodafone.com 

If the residents fail to unite and challenge this, the City of London Corporation will continue to ignore your wishes, look at other areas where the City of London Corporation has ignored the wishes of the residents, and denied certain elected Cripplegate Councillor/s from speaking up for the residents who they represent, this would not even be allowed in some communist countries!

We collectively need to ensure that "ANY" Cripplegate Councillor who supports the City of London Corporation in their misguided attempt to grant permission for the installation of harmful telecommunications masts on any buildings within Gold Lane are deselected at the next Common Council Elections for the Cripplegate Ward! 

Full disclosure is required as to when the telecommunications companies first approached the City of London, what discussions have taken place and the terms of engagement including financial payments, and why were the residents not informed? Where the estates management aware? 

As a final last resort, IF the masts are installed, the income generated must be allocated to the residents of the relevant block/s, AND adequate compensation must be paid to the leaseholders, maintenance, with the remainder paid to the Golden Lane Residents Association for community use. 

I have just heard from Paul Murtagh (Assistant Director Barbican and Property Services) that the Planning Department wrote to GVA (acting for CTIL) yesterday advising them that their proposals would be unlikely to be approved. Paul sent me a copy of the correspondence. 

Steven Bage (the Corporations Strategic Infrastructure Advisor) say that it appears that CTIL have been sending out these letters in a somewhat 'indiscriminate' manner hoping that this approach will reap dividends.

Hopefully this will be the end of the matter but if you do hear of anything similar please let me know.

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