Edinburgh residents say 5G mast in front of their homes would 'ruin street view'

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Residents threatened with a giant mobile phone mast right in front of their homes are urging the council to reject the proposal for a second time.

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An application for a 20-metre mast at Crewe Road North was refused last year because of the impact it would have on the area but now Vodafone is back with a new bid for a 17.5 metre version.

Resident Jackie Hamilton said the greenspace in front of the crescent of white villas, where the mast is proposed at the junction with Boswall Parkway, was the only bit of greenspace on the street. “We've got three beautiful blossom trees here and they're just going to totally spoil that. Everyone talks about greenspaces for people and having more trees. These trees have been there 60-odd years. The mast is going to totally ruin the street view. It's going to stick out like a sore thumb.

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"There are 13 households who are going to look directly onto this, and the people in the houses across the road – their living rooms are above the shops, so they're going to look out their windows and see this monstrosity towering above them.”

Ms Hamilton said people were also worried about property values after an offer was withdrawn for one house currently on the market. “One property was up for sale. They had an offer, but when the buyer discovered this mast was planned they pulled out.”

She said: "The council refused the first application because of the size, the close proximity to the houses which are within 10 metres of it, and the amount of street furniture, ie the cabinets they would have installed.

“But at the end of January I got an email saying they were going to put in another application for a mast which was not 20 metres, but 17.5, still with all the cabinets. A 2.5-metre reduction is irrelevant. It's ridiculous that within less than six months we have to fight this again when nothing substantial has changed.”

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Residents say the 17.5 metre mast would stick out like a sore thumb and ruin the street view.  Picture: Lisa Ferguson.Residents say the 17.5 metre mast would stick out like a sore thumb and ruin the street view.  Picture: Lisa Ferguson.
Residents say the 17.5 metre mast would stick out like a sore thumb and ruin the street view. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.

Ms Hamilton said there was already a mast 50 metres further up the street and there were several other sites in the immediate area where the mast could go, including land at the West Granton Access Road.

She noted that local protests had prompted the withdrawal last month of an application for a Vodafone mast next to the Morningside clock, where the community Christmas tree is placed every year. Ms Hamilton said: "We've not got a clock or a Christmas tree like Morningside but this is directly affecting residents.”

Cornerstone, who act for Vodafone, said they understood that their infrastructure impacted on communities. “We aim to ensure that our telecommunications equipment blends into the area as much as possible while enabling quality digital connectivity to the communities we serve. Unfortunately the original proposed site on Crewe Road North was refused by the planning authority. We have reviewed the reasons for this and consulted further with a local community member about alternative locations for the development. However, we have concluded the proposed site is still the best location to provide improved network coverage in the this part of Edinburgh. To address some local concerns we have reduced the size of the proposed base station.”

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