We, the campaigners against the siting of a 20 metre GSM-R mast next to Norwood Park, London, SE27 are writing to you in your capacity as Chief Executive of Network Rail.
We are contacting you as we are dissatisfied with the undemocratic way Network Rail has gone about the process of forcing our community to have this mast thrust upon it.
It is without doubt a matter of fact that if you didn’t have Permitted Development Rights there is no way you would receive planning permission for constructing a 20 metre mast on the edge of a park in such a dense residential area.
This is a personal appeal to your sense of fairness to review how the decision was made to locate this mast in such a location.
The infrastructure went up without a large majority of people being told it was for a 20 metre mast. There is no way the mast will be properly screened as it is twice the size of any nearby trees. It will also detract from a protected view from Norwood Park of the capital and blight the start of a country walk which has been deemed of scientific local interest.
We understand this is being done as a safety measure and have nothing against these masts per see but what we object to is the siting of this particular mast in a dense residential area, spoiling the beauty of one of the few green spaces left in London.
We remain unconvinced by Network Rails argument that this site chosen from one of three viable sites along a very short stretch of land running along Finch Avenue is the only or best site. We have received no evidence or proof from Network Rail about the process or the technology used to identify viable sites despite repeated requests. We are told the process is complex but it seems this site was selected simply because it was the easiest to access.
The resistance by Network Rail, a publicly funded company, to re-evaluate this location seems to be entirely down to money but for us this is about quality of life which you can’t put a value on. We will have to live with this monstrosity for generations to come.
Our questions have not been answered by either your communication manager Richard Flindell or community relations manager Nick Gray who have both admitted failings over communication with residents - caused by the failure to deliver basic information via letter - but both have done little to rectify it.
The so call drop in session arranged with residents was not consultation, it was a fait de compli and now our questions to either Mr Gray or Mr Flindell simply go unanswered.
I think both Mr Gray and Mr Flindell are under the impression that only a handful of people object to the mast and that the problem will simply go away. That is simply not the case and we now have hundreds of signatures on a petition against locating the mast on this site.
I am sure that if a 20 metre mast was going to be located near your park or home you would object just as passionately and hope that your voices would be heard and not just dismissed.
Once again we appeal to your sense of fairness to intervene in this matter.
Stop the Norwood Park Mast campaign