A 23.5-metre tall illegal mast that towered over a North London neighbourhood was finally torn down last week (February 6) following a battle that lasted more than two years. The operator was accused of ‘blatantly ignoring planning conditions’ as it should have been removed in 2021.
Mobile network operator, Sitec Infrastructure Services, was given planning permission for the telecommunications mast back in 2020 on Chamberlayne Road in Brent, on a 12-month temporary basis. Residents and local councillors had been fighting to have the structure removed since the June 2021 expiration date elapsed.
Brondesbury Park councillors Erica Gbajumo and Ryan Hack successfully lobbied Brent Council to issue an enforcement notice against the company demanding that it be taken down. The company was given until March, with failing to do so potentially resulting in a large fine. The councillors had pledged to fight for the company to be prosecuted had it not complied with the order.
However, the mast was finally removed last week with the help of a crane. Cllr Hack was pleased that the council took a ‘firm stance’ on the company by supporting the calls for enforcement action.
He said: “Ever since I was first elected last year, local residents have raised concerns about the tall mast towering over their suburban area in Brondesbury Park. This raised real concerns about an operator blatantly ignoring planning conditions.”
The planning application was originally only granted on a temporary basis because the council’s planning committee ‘would not be prepared to approve other than for a limited period’, due to the visual impact it would have on the surrounding area.
Leaflets had been distributed throughout the ward calling for the eyesore to be torn down, whilst the local councillors had continued to demand the planning departments investigate the case.
Cllr Gbajumo said: “For the past five years, I have been voicing my concerns to the planning department and am pleased we have worked constructively to put pressure on the operator to take down the illegal mast.”
She added: “The planning department and both present and previous councillors have fought for the operator to be held to account for breaching their planning conditions.” Sitec Infrastructure Services was approached for comment but did not respond ahead of publication.