Plans for new mobile phone masts in Islington put on hold
PUBLISHED: 15:56 07 November 2012
A plan to build 20 masts providing the new 4G network to mobile phones in Islington have been blocked by the new housing executive.
The new transmitters were set to replace 19 existing masts on estates across the borough, as well as a new one at Kimble House, in Dalmeny Avenue, Tufnell Park.
The scheme was put to the executive at a meeting on October 23 but members, along with Lib Dem councillors, were unhappy that Islington Council hadn’t consulted residents so asked for the plans to be looked at again.
The masts, along with 10 new base stations, could raise £600,000 a year for the council – and some residents are angry the cash isn’t used to spruce up the estates the masts are on.
Hundreds of residents from Islington signed a petition to that effect and gave it to the council in April.
Labour voted this idea down when suggested by the Lib Dems at a full council meeting in March – but have agreed to implement it for the new site in Dalmeny Avenue.
Cllr Terry Stacy, leader of the Lib Dems, said: “It is incredible the council didn’t consult residents about putting up 20 more mobile masts across Islington. They obviously see the rent from masts as a new cash cow for council coffers and it doesn’t matter what residents think.
“The council also now seems to accept that funding from new masts should go back directly to the estates affected. But when Lib Dems proposed this for all the blocks in Islington with masts, we were told it was impossible. This is a welcome Labour U-turn and needs to be applied to all the affected blocks now.”
He added that with a £2million surplus in the housing account, it was clear the money wasn’t needed centrally.
A spokesman for the council said: “Residents and councillors on the new housing executive asked officers to resubmit the mobile phone mast report with more details about consultation and how the money would be spent.”
They added it will be discussed at the next housing executive meeting on December 13.