Antennas on a Finsbury estate: ‘They wouldn’t do this to a private building’

Finsbury residents vow to oppose plans to mount 42 internet antennas on roof of council-owned tower

Friday, 16th August 2019 — By Emily Finch

Galway house residents

Residents of the historic Galway House, in Pleydell estate, who are outraged at proposals to mount 42 antennas on the roof of their 17-storey building

RESIDENTS in a historic estate will “strongly” oppose the installation of internet rooftop antennas – despite claims it will bring faster internet speeds to nearby businesses.

Forty-two dish antennas could be on the 17-storey Galway House in the Pleydell estate, Finsbury, following a planning application to the Town Hall.

Edd Harding, chairman of the tenant management organisation (TMO) said: “We want to know how these dishes will affect the residents and, if the council did go ahead with it, how it will benefit us? How much is the council getting for it and will we get anything in return?”

The application is from Luminet, a company based in Angel which is the trading name of Urban Wimax Ltd.

Shirley Lefevre, who has been the treasurer of the TMO for 14 years, said: “They wouldn’t do this on a private building. Why us? I don’t understand why we should be put at risk for tech city and businesses. They should put this on their offices.”

Another objector said not enough was known about the “long-term health effects” of the antennas, adding: “There are so many children playing near here, with a school just across the road and a playground. So we really don’t want this here, especially as we haven’t been told what it is and how safe it is.”

Some residents also said they felt they were being “punished” for living in a council-owned building.

The planning application submitted to the council’s planning department said that the 42 antennas on seven support frames would be used to “transmit and receive highly focused low-powered radio waves that travel in a straight line direction”.

The plans are “required to improve Luminet’s capacity and services within the Islington area,” it adds.

“In order to remain competitive with other world-leading financial markets and cities, it is essential that point-to-point microwave dish links are in operation, hence the proposal is justified.”

Luminet said that the Pleydell estate application was an “alternative” to that proposed at Braithwaite House “where concerns have been raised by the LPA [Islington Council] as to the visual impact of the development.”

Similar plans for phone masts at the Grade II-listed Golden Lane estate by the Barbican were rejected by the City of London planning department.

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