There are four Golden Lane Estate related facebook accounts and you can follow them here: goldenlaneEC1 

Golden Lane Estate / RCS site 

Save Bernard Morgan House

City of London



167 discussions


608 discussions


1402 discussions


126 discussions


Site of former Richard Cloudesley School

168 discussions


16 discussions


21 discussions


233 discussions

It seems the City have licensed all their buildings on the Golden Lane Estate for mobile phone masts. On 17 December GVA (a company jointly owned by 02 and Vodaphone) sent a pre-planning consultation letter to some officials with regard to installing a base station with 12 masts on Bowater House. It would appear they intend to go to planning with this early next year. While some are worried about the health implications of this technology and believe it causes cancers, others will be concerned about the economic implications, since it has been estimated that property in buildings with masts erected on or near them are devalued by between 10 and 20 percent. Thus should this go ahead most leaseholders on the Golden Lane Estate are likely to see a decline in the value of their property of between £50,000 and £100,000, and some more. Residents in Barbican blocks such as Breton House and Ben Jonson House would also suffer losses, as will those who’ve bought Denizen flats off-plan.

Making sense of the claims and counterclaims as regards health and mobile phone masts at short notice is not easy. However it would seem the long term effects of mobile phone masts on health is under-researched, and with the switch to new systems such as 5G, different wavelengths are involved about which even less is known in terms of safety. Given this it would seem sensible as a precaution to locate base stations and masts well away from schools and not to site them on top of housing. Bowater House is extremely close to the Golden Lane Campus which houses two schools and a children’s centre, making it unsuitable as a site for the proposed mobile phone base station. Such positioning will also be of concern to parents and staff at CoLPAI, waiting for their school to move into its permanent building not much further from Bowater House than the Golden Lane Campus.

There are many other concerns including the potential need to reroof the Golden Lane Estate in the coming years and the cost and logistic issues of moving heavy equipment when this needs to be done. Residents in Burnhill House in nearby Norman Street say the equipment on their roof for which the lease was not renewed weighed two tons and was at least a contributory factor to subsidence and cracking problems in their block. They also say they were unable to sleep properly for the eight years of the mast lease due to the hum from the electricity transformer on their roof.

Information about 02 and Vodaphone’s plans were not sent to any residents in Bowater House and we assume no other Golden Lane Estate residents were direct recipients. The letter we have seen is addressed to Mark Field MP and suggests he can submit comments of his own or forward those of constituents to:

Community Consultation & EMF Enquiries, Building 1330 – The Exchange, Arlington Business Park, Theale, Berkshire, RG7 4SA. Email: community@ctil.co.uk

The letter Mark Field was sent came from Rebecca Skerrett. Email: Rebecca.Skerrett@gva.co.uk

You may wish to let those at both these addresses know of any concerns you might have within 14 days of 17 December 2018. You may also want to contact your local councillors and/or MP. Leaseholders will probably want to know if the City plans to compensate them for the devaluation of their homes should this go ahead, and both tenants and leaseholders are likely to want to know if any of the money made from leasing mast sites will be put into the upkeep of estates if they are erected. It would be useful to know exactly how much money the City is getting for this; it seems unlikely to match the losses leaseholders will suffer in terms of the devaluation of their properties and the wear and tear on buildings.

This piece about the devaluation of properties due to mobile phone masts is not from a UK website but takes examples from around the world including the UK: http://www.emfsa.co.za/news/property-values-desirability-cell-towers/

Views: 982

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I have written on behalf of GLERA objecting to the proposals. It may be hard to object on health grounds as it is Central Government policy to provide a network but the planning grounds for an objection are strong.

My email is as follows:

Dear Ms Skerrett,

I have been sent the pre-planning consultation documentation for the above mast. Could you note that any future consultation should be copied to myself as chair of the registered residents’ association.
We will strongly oppose the installation of your equipment on the roof of any block on our estate. As you may be aware the Estate is a combination of Grade 2 and Grade 3* listed. It is also going to be in a soon to be designated conservation area. The estate is a considered architectural composition and the buildings were designed with a variety of roofscapes and roof levels.  These survive largely unaltered and it is unacceptable to harm views within and outside the Estate with the proposed equipment.
There is a new, taller block of flats being developed opposite Bowater house and, if it is necessary to place your equipment in the immediate area, could I suggest that you discuss with Taylor Wimpey to locate it there.


Tim Godsmark
Chair Golden Lane Estate Residents’ Association
07815 437 028

If and when they make a planning application we will then be able to put in a fuller objection.

Click links to read letters to Councillors and Mark Field MP from GVA (real estate advisors)

Thanks for the additions to the discussion. I didn't want to make what I wrote too long but as Tim makes clear  the estate is protected as a prized example of modernist architecture and would be ruined by this installation. Likewise I tried to upload the associated documents with my text last night but unfortunately the attempt failed, so I uploaded without them. But it is great they've been added.

From Councillor Vivienne Littlechild  - an edited response to the GLE mailing about the plans:

I have written opposing the application for a phone mast on Basterfield House or GLE and copied our MP, Mark Field.

I have objected to the short consultation, that it has been arranged over Christmas/New Year, probably in the hope that the issue would go unnoticed. I have had a reply from Mark Field who agrees with my view about the late “consultation”. He will be back at the office on the 7th January.
These are worrying applications as the power appears to be with the applicants. We had a similar issue some years ago when the then Barbican Director arranged a contract for such an installation on Brandon Mews but unfortunately no information about this became available until it had been installed. We objected but the contract agreed could not then be reviewed. Please encourage everyone to oppose this application.
I argued that it should be removed and proper consultation should take place but the then director, Sue Benjamin, had signed the agreement with the telecom company, for a not very impressive fee, and though she claimed it had been checked by independent solicitors instructed by the CoL, it was an agreement from which we could not extract ourselves.
If you are holding any meeting with residents let me know as I am happy to emphasise how important it is not to hope someone else will deal with this.
Vivienne Littlechild MBE JP
Elected Member for the Ward of Cripplegate

I emailed the following message to Rebecca  Skerrett of GVA, copied in to Mark Filed MP:

Dear Ms Skerrett

I am a resident of Golden Lane Estate and I am writing to you with regard the proposed telecomms base station on Bowater House.
Firstly, I can't help feel that the timing of preplanning application consultation period being so close to Christmas is both deliberate and cynical.
Secondly the proposal itself:
Golden Lane Estate is grade 2 listed (in parts grade 2*) and also now a designated conservation area. 
The estate is currently undergoing major restoration works which will continue over the next couple of years including roof repairs. It is therefore completely impractical to consider any addition to the roofs - there are already a number of issues with leaks and damage to the homes below.
This is a densely populated area with two schools and a nursery school bordering the estate. Whilst the negative affects on health are not universally accepted there is no doubting the additional stress that the anxiety will cause residents and parents.
I would urge you to recommend your client consider placing the installation in a less contestable location.
Kind regards
Jacqueline Swanson

Just to reiterate, Mark Field is easy to contact. We all need to do this now to make sure he and others know how unhappy we are about the proposed mast installation of the roof of Bowater House. Best way is email or letter. There is also a phone number on his website and he has Twitter and Facebook.

Office of Mark Field MP, House of Commons, SW1A 0AA

Dear neighbours,

first of all Merry Christmas!

Who at the City should I email about this?

Happy new year,


This hasn't gone to planning yet but will do early in the new year. So for now the best people to email seem to be:

Mark Field MP: fieldm@parliament.uk

And sympathetic City councillors. The Cripplegate councillors to have expressed concern are:
Mark Bostock: mark.bostock@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Sue Pearson: Susan.Pearson@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Vivienne Littlechild: vivienne.littlechild@cityoflondon.gov.uk

One would hope other Cripplegate councillors who'd be sympathetic would include:

Mary Duncan: mary.durcan@cityoflondon.gov.uk

William Pimlott: William.Pimlott@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Because the information was sent out on on 17 December to too few people to create a 2 week consultation period over the holidays, it may just be the Cripplegate councillors who have yet to express a concern have been away and are as yet unware of the issues.

If you feel like emailing everyone that's great but I'd prioritise Mark Field as the MP for the area and then Sue Pearson as the councillor most immediately involved in this as she lives on the Golden Lane Estate - although there have been problems with the City of London Standards Committee attempting to gag Sue and stop her speaking on on behalf of those who elected her.

Thank you Stewart!

I sent out this email to express my concern today:

Dear Rebecca Skerret,

I write to you with regards to the phone masts your company plans to put on Bowater House on my estate.
Firstly I strongly object to your timing, to start this over the Christmas holidays. This suggests you want to get permission 'under the radar' while residents have their minds set on family and friends. This is nor respectful, really. If you would like to introduce these masts to our community, you should collaborate and communicate, instead of applying stealth tactics. 
Secondly, these masts would have a very negative effect on how our estate looks. I came living on the estate for its architecture, and was assured by it being Grade 2 and Grade 3* listed. The rooftops and skyline of the estate is an important part of this, and your plans are threatening to destroy these. Moreover, my fellow residents warn me that rooftop contruction will deteriorate as a result of these plans. 
I suggest you look for another location that is less sensitive to the negative effects of your masts, and communicate and collaborate much better with the local residents and businesses there, than you do with us.
Bas Raijmakers,
resident Hatfiled House, Golden Lane Estate since 2006.
cc Mark Field MP, Sue Pearson, Mark Bostock, Vivienne Littlechild, Mary Durcan, William Pimlott, all elected councillors, to express my concern to them too.

Two other residents and myself met with journalist from the Islington Tribune to publicise the opposition to this. Expect to see something in an issue soon.


© 2024   Created by GLE Website Comms Team.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service