Lowlands Court: Victory for residents as mast plan is pulled

The plans would have seen six new antennas, two dishes and supporting infrastructure in cabinets erected.

Thursday, 5th May — By Harry Taylor

06_Jeffrey Young

Jeffrey Young at Lowlands Court

RESIDENTS in Belsize Park block are celebrating after a telecoms firm pulled its bid to put a six-metre high mobile phone mast on its roof, which would have increased its height by a third.

The tenants and owners who live in Lowlands Court in Eton Avenue said it would have made the mid-1960s block look like an eyesore and dominated the area.

Telefonica, the applicants, were able to take advantage of rules that mean you don’t have to own a building to apply for planning permission on it. Tenants were then unhappy that they weren’t consulted and only found out when they were told by council election candidates.

The plans would have seen six new antennas, two dishes and supporting infrastructure in cabinets erected.

They are currently on top of the Britannia Hotel in Primrose Hill Road, but the owners told Telefonica that it needed to remove them ahead of redevelopment works.

But after being contacted by the New Journal, Cornerstone, the agent and partner for Telefonica said that plans for the Britannia Hotel had been shelved, meaning their masts will stay put. It has formally withdrawn its application.

A spokesperson confirmed: “We have instructed that the planning application for Lowlands Court is withdrawn.”

Jeffrey Young, who sits on the Lowlands management committee and has lived in the block for 18 years said: “It’s great news, and the company has possibly realised that people were not happy with it as well, and it’s good that it shows people still have a voice.

“It’s absolutely the right thing to do, we couldn’t be happier.”

He had been one of a group in the block unhappy about a lack of consultation and that the company could effectively apply to put masts on the roof of a building it did not own, without agreement from owners.

“It’s quite worrying. If you accept the ownership of property, and people working hard to buy property or rent a safe place to live, it’s concerning what it says about their lack of rights,” he said.

In his day job he owns the Allegra Group, which founded Camden Clean Air.

He said the management committee had planned to put solar panels on their roof to get cheaper green energy, and to look at installing a green roof to cut pollution.

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