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.