Sunday 24 February 2019

Transmitter masts atop the arts centre?

The planning committee of the Barbican Association has spotted an application to install transmission equipment on the roof of the theatre fly tower (the high point of the structure above the conservatory).   Below are couple of sections from the planning list (with links to the whole document) followed by commentary from the BA planning committee.

Click to read the whole document

Click to read the whole document

Very close to some homes
Plant location in cutaway
There are repeated assurances that radiation from transmitters has no impact on health, but there are also well reasoned (also repeated) expressions of concern, for example this paper by Green Audit Aberystwyth  (from

Objections to ref 19/00108/FULL;19/00109/LBC.

From the BA planning committee:

In the list, dated 15th February, there is most definitely something of note however as there is an application for permission to install 18 antennae, 4 dishes, 8 equipment cabinets and associated ancillary equipment on the roof of the Barbican Centre. Looking through the documents on the CoL Planning website (reference numbers 19/00108/FULL and 19/00109/LBC) it is clear that the proposed installation will not be in keeping with a listed building in a Grade 2* star listed estate/conservation area and poses a potential threat to health despite assurances to the contrary. In terms of scale, the Barbican Centre is 27 metres high. To the top of the proposed antennae it will be 30.4 metres high, meaning that the antennae will project 3.4 metres above the roofline and clearly visible by many residents.

What the application makes no reference to is the proximity to residential buildings. Over and above the objection of such a site being located in a listed building/conservation area - and as the objection from a resident of Frobisher Crescent on the website highlights - "there is no acknowledgement....that Frobisher Crescent - adjacent and connected to the conservatory turret/proposed site - is a residential building containing 69 residential flats as well as offices. The front doors of 15 of those flats directly face on to the site of the proposed masts..........Most worryingly for the 6 flats on the ninth floor of Frobisher Crescent the bedrooms are at the same height of the proposed masts.....Whilst health and safety information referenced within the supporting application documents says that there is insufficient evidence to prove that the masts and their radiation can cause health issues I do not believe that this has been applied to the fact that people will be at the same height as the masts over night, every day for prolonged periods. This is a grave concern for residents in the affected flats................... "

The full text of this objection, plus his supporting photograph, can be seen both on the CoL Planning website and in the attached document in which I have sought to highlight the key points associated with this application. I apologise for my technical incompetence in being unable to copy the important and highly relevant pictures into this document. I refer in particular to the drawings of "East Part Elevation - Existing" and "East Part Elevation - Proposed" which clearly show the scale and height of the proposed installations.

This application will clearly be of concern to residents in many, if not all, Barbican blocks.

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