Agenda item

Rooftop at Point West 1040 Uxbridge Road - 24/APP/2023/2114

Installation of four new microwave transmission dishes on braced support poles fixed to the face of the building and one new 150mm wide cable tray, alongside the removal of three existing microwave transmission dishes on freestanding support frames.


Recommendation: Approval


RESOLVED: That the application be approved.


Installation of four new microwave transmission dishes on braced support poles fixed to the face of the building and one new 150mm wide cable tray, alongside the removal of three existing microwave transmission dishes on freestanding support frames.


Councillor Roy Chamdal returned to the room at the commencement of this item.


Officers introduced the item and delivered a detailed presentation summarising the application. It was noted that resident concerns had been raised regarding possible adverse health impacts arising from the development; it was confirmed that an International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) declaration certificate had been submitted in support of the application to ensure that it would be built and operated in a way that had no adverse Health impacts. Members attention was drawn to the addendum where it was also noted that a request had been made from a resident to consult the Office of Communications (Ofcom) on the validity of the declaration certificate however, it was highlighted that Ofcom were not a statutory consultee and were not involved in the determination of planning applications or assessing ICNIRP certificates. Officers deemed the development not to have any adverse health or visual impact, the application was recommended for approval subject to proposed conditions.


A petition had been received objecting to the application, the lead petitioner was present and addressed the Committee. Key points raised in their address included:


·         Residents felt that the existing arrangement of telecommunications equipment on the roof top of Point West were unsightly, and they did not want any additional equipment installed.

·         Concerns were raised regarding the safety of the proposals specifically highlighting the health impacts that the development would have on residents living in, and in close proximity to Point West, including as a result of close contact with electromagnetic frequencies.

·         Further health concerns were raised with regard to microwave hearing and queries were made regarding evidence of microwave auditory limit testing at ground level. Exclusion zone diagrams for the combined radiation emitting equipment at the site had not been provided.

·         Further issues regarding potential health impacts to nearby residents were raised as a concern, including nausea and sleep abnormalities as a result of the telecommunications equipment to be installed on the rooftop. It was stated that the extent of the impact on people’s health could not be fully assessed with the level of information provided with the application.


A statement had been received from the agent for the application which was read out for the Committee. Key points raised in the statement included:


·         Point West was a high-rise building, 31.7m tall, which already hosted a significant number of telecommunications installations, including existing transmission dishes belonging to the applicant. The building was note located in a conservation area nor was it of historic interest.

·         It was highlighted that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) considered the reuse of existing sites to be the best option when considering locations for telecommunications installations.

·         The planning officer’s report confirmed that the proposal would support the aims and objectives of the London Plan and the Local Plan as it would improve telecommunications coverage in the area.

·         The applicant also intended to remove the three existing 0.6m transmission dishes on support frames, as the purpose of the proposal was to upgrade the existing network and maintain line-of-sight functionality and connection within the applicant’s network.

·         The extent of the visual impact of the development was deemed to be very limited relative to the scale of the building and the extent of equipment already there.


Officers highlighted what had been included in the addendum regarding NPPF guidance in that local planning authorities “must determine applications on planning grounds only. They should not seek to prevent competition between different operators, question the need for an electronic communications system, or set health safeguards different from the International Commission guidelines for public exposure”. Members sympathised with petitioners but highlighted that the Committee had to consider material planning matters when determining applications, it was noted that the Council would be unlikely to win should the application be refused and subsequently go to a Planning Inspectorate appeal.


The Committee clarified the proposed removal of three telecommunications dishes to be replaced by four telecommunications dishes, leaving a net gain of one dish. Members discussed the role of ICNIRP guidelines noting that they did not guarantee that the development would have no adverse health impacts. Due to the position of the dishes and the existing equipment installed ensuring that the proposals would not add any significant additional visual harm, the Committee were generally in agreement with the officer’s recommendations. The officer’s recommendations were moved, seconded, and when put to a vote, approved with six votes for and one vote against.


RESOLVED: That the application be approved as per the officer’s recommendation.

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