Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Amazing what can be done when your local representatives (in Cornwall) bother to intervene

Network Rail abandon plans for mast at Sandplace Station

After 2 months of campaigning, Sandplace residents finally met with senior representatives from Network Rail on Thursday 31 March regarding the controversial proposed installation of a 25 metre mast and large equipment cabin at Sandplace Station on the Looe Valley Line. Residents had taken their arguments to MP Sheryl Murray, raised questions to Parliament, the Department for Transport, the Office of Rail Regulatioin, the Rail Safety Standards Board and Cornwall Council arguing that the site was inappropriate due to road safety issues created by the equipment cabin and proposed mast and the significant visual impact of the communications infrastructure, spoiling the hamlet of Sandplace designated an ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’.

For more information:

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Ordinary people get ignored by arrogant Network Rail executives

So after months of campaigning Network Rail is putting the mast up on the evening of April 13. NR is having to close the road to bring in a huge crane to lift the mast in to place.
As residents, and park users against this intrusive 20 metre mast, which there is no doubt could have been located elsewhere, we have contacted endless amounts of people to help in our plight but to no avail.
…..government, local government, London wide government, planners MPs, written to Network Rail executives at home, protested outside NR headquarters in Kings Cross, put in FOIs, contacted green/heritage groups, got a petition with hundreds of names on it, set up a blog linked to twitter and Facebook etc

The one organisation which could have done something but hasn’t to support residents is Lambeth Council
We all know only too well that Network Rail have permitted development rights but no-where along the line has anyone working for Lambeth Council represented the views of the residents.
We as council tax payers, pay officers wages yet it is NR that council officers have bent over backwards for in facilitating masts/cranes and road closure orders and no-where along the line have they ever bothered to communicate with residents of this borough.
Labour council leader Steve Reed said to the Streatham Guardian: "We back residents all the way and oppose NR putting this mast up and ruining a protected view that residents cherish very much.
“Although, frustratingly, we have no powers to prevent NR we will do everything we can to use our influence to get it to see sense and drop these plans, and to lobby Government to give councils the necessary powers to stop this kind of thing in future.”

Where is the evidence that Reed or the council has done ‘everything we can’ to influence NR. Just more hollow words.

Yesterday while NR removed the Portcabins on the corner of Finch Avenue, they badly damaged one of the trees – breaking off a branch. When one of the workman was challenged they said it would grow back?
Now we are concerned about the oak trees in the park which are over a hundred years old and part of the old Great North Wood being damaged when they bring in the crane and lift in the mast

The Friends of the Park have asked Lambeth to ensure this doesn’t happen but what hope is there of the council protecting ancient trees when they can’t even protect the rights of their residents?

No wonder groups like UK Uncut resort to taking direct action...because politicians don't listen to ordinary people and local authorities are like headless chickens hamstrung by bureaucracy who forget that it is the community they are meant to be working with not against.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Mast to go up on April 13 despite mass of objections

Nick Gray, Network Rail community relations manager: " I am writing to confirm that we will be installing the GSMR Mast on the chosen site on the evening of 13 April.
"Today I have written to 700 local households confirming this, in addition to which your local MP, AM and ward councillors have also been notified. The Mast and in due course the base unit will be painted to camouflage its effect on local surroundings."

Monday, 28 March 2011

Serious health issues I have experienced with a Network Rail telephone mast and base station

Read the account of a families health problems after a Network Rail communications mast went up in their backyard

Monday, 14 March 2011

Proof if it were needed that Network Rail plans to cash in on masts

Chartered Surveyor (Telecoms)
Location: City, London
Salary: £45000 - £50000 per annum + pension, bonus
Company: Fusion People
Job type: Permanent
Date posted: 09/03/2011 10:46:48

Description: As an Account Manager, you will be responsible for the overall management of one or more property portfolios particularly within the wireless telecoms market. The role requires considerable expertise in developing relationships both within Network Rail and with external clients. The clear objectives will be to create and grow business opportunities with existing and new customers to maximise revenue from Network Rail's property assets. You will have an established presence in the marketplace that will enable you build strong relationships with mobile operators as well as targeting the industry through effective marketing. The aim is to ensure that Network Rail's recognition in the marketplace is enhanced and maintained.

1. Manage and maximise the income potential of the business, developing and implementing policies and strategies to drive revenue growth.

2. Develop and implement detailed income and expenditure budgets for the business; delivering timely and accurate forecasting as required.

3. Analyse financial performance, key performance indicators and other aspects of the business, providing regular and ad-hoc reports to the National Businesses Manager as required.

4. Negotiate and agree property and other transactions within delegated authorities; initiating and leading European Union compliant competitive tender processes when appropriate.

5. Proactively develop and maintain strong relationships with clients, industry professionals and contractors such that the business can be managed efficiently and effectively.

6. Proactively develop and maintain strong relationships with internal stakeholders at route, territory and national level such that the business is both adequately supported and effectively promoted across the company.

7. Manage the delivery of investment programmes to programme and to budget for the business in conjunction with the major projects and investment team and / or the client as appropriate.

The successful candidate will ideally be a Chartered Surveyor although key is your knowledge and expertise of the marketplace - both in property and telecoms. Key things are someone who is MRICS, general practise chartered surveyor who has worked in telecoms, the position will be working with mobile phone companies for selling and leasing of land for mobile phone masts We are committed to promoting equal opportunity to people of all ages in the workplace and operates as both an employment agency and employment business.

More protests fall on deaf ears

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Even Lambeth asked for the mast to be moved

An FOI request to Lambeth Council has elicited an interesting response about the siting of the mast.
It includes email exchanges between former council planner Wade Sowman and Network Rail planner Lungile Mngadi.
Though incomplete hence me having to ask for a more thorough response, it does show that the council officer also felt that the choice of site for the mast was wrong but as with everything Network Rail simply ignores all arguments that don't fit in with what it wants rather than how it will affect local people.
To read emails: