Proposed 5G Mast next to the Chip Inn in Colinton Mains.

Cornerstone Telecommunications company owned by Vodafone Limited and Telefónica UK Limited, commonly known as O2, who manage a single grid network across the UK for these companies. Below is a briefing on their plan to install a 5G “radio base station” (mast) adjacent to the Chip Inn in Colinton Mains. Please get in touch if you have any concerns.

Briefing
This agreement allows both organisations to pool their basic network infrastructure, while running two, independent, nationwide networks. It maximises opportunities to consolidate the number of base stations and where possible can significantly reduce the environmental impact of network development.

5G rollout has begun and so Vodafone and Telefónica are in the process of upgrading their existing radio base stations in their single grid network wherever possible. As part of this continued network improvement program, there is a specific technical requirement to provide new 5G coverage in the entitled part of Edinburgh.

An existing Telefónica and Vodafone streetworks style base station has been identified in the area, however it cannot accommodate for both operators latest requirements. In order to fit into the operator’s single grid network, a new streetworks style base station is required for Vodafone’s service in close proximity of the existing streetworks style base station that will be retained and in due course upgraded for Telefónica’s service.

The purpose of this letter/email is to consult with you and seek your views on Cornerstone’s proposal before any planning submission is made. For your interest please find attached the Local Government Association’s guidance – A councillor’s guide to digital connectivity which discusses mobile infrastructure and 5G. Taking on board such matters, please find attached the draft plans of the proposal, in which we would appreciate any comments you may have at this stage.

We understand that you are not always able to provide site specific comments, however, Cornerstone and Vodafone are committed to consultation with communities on our mobile telecommunications proposals and as such would encourage you to respond.

Alternative site options considered and rejected are as detailed in the table below. Should you have any suggestions as to any other possible sites that you think would be worth looking into, then please reply and send as much detail as known.


1 Existing Streetworks – 44503o2 – 230, Oxgangs Road North, Colinton Mains, Edinburgh, EH13 9DY   
Although currently a shared structure providing 2G, 3G and 4G coverage for both operators, there is no comparable streetworks style solution that can accommodate 5G antennas for both Vodafone and Telefonica. It would require significant redevelopment and a completely new mast of substantial width and height, as well as taking up the majority of land at its base on Oxgangs Road North. Therefore it is considered that redevelopment would be inappropriate within the streetscene, compromise pedestrian movements and impact on highway safety.

2 Co-Location Co-Lo 44503o2 – 230, Oxgangs Road North, Colinton Mains, Edinburgh, EH13 9DY 
To avoid network interference there needs to be vertical and horizontal separation between masts. In this instance 16 metres of horizontal separation is required between the existing streetworks style mast that will continue to be operated by Telefonica and the proposed Vodafone mast. Therefore co-location within this 16 metre radius is not technically viable and so is discounted.

3 Rooftop – 237 Oxgangs Road North, Colinton Mains, Edinburgh, EH13 9JA 
This building was considered, however was determined to be too low to host a sensitively designed base station. When taking into account the roof shape, overall building height, as well as its surrounding context, a rooftop proposal of significant height would be required to meet the operator’s technical requirements. It is considered that such a proposal would be overly prominent and out of keeping with the host building.

4 Rooftop – 223 Oxgangs Road North, Colinton Mains Parish Church, EH13 9HB 
The property is a Grade B listed building in which given its status the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 emphasises that special regard should be had to the desirability of preserving listed buildings, their settings or any features of special architectural or historic interest. It is considered that a proposal on this listed building could compromise this heritage asset and so this option has not been pursued further.

5 Streetworks – Oxgangs Road North, Colinton Mains, Oxgangs, Edinburgh, EH13 9DY 
A street works style base station could not be deployed in this location as the mast and equipment cabinets would restrict the entrance to the nearby shops.

6 Streetworks – Pavement near, 227 Oxgangs Road North, Colinton Mains, Oxgangs, Edinburgh, EH13 9BW              
A street works style base station could not be deployed in this location as it would impact upon the visibility splays of those vehicles emerging from the nearby junction.

7 Streetworks – Oxgangs Road North, Edinburgh, EH13 9NE      
There is insufficient space available on this stretch of pavement as the siting and dimensions of a street works style base station would restrict pedestrian movements on Oxgangs Road to unacceptably low levels.

8 Greenfield – Oxgangs Common, Oxgangs Road North, Edinburgh, EH13 9NE   
This location is too far removed from the search area to provide the required level of coverage and capacity in which it would impact upon the neighbouring base station sites in the wider network. Therefore, this site has to be discounted as it does not meet the operator’s technical requirements.

9 Streetworks – Oxgangs Road North, Colinton Mains, Edinburgh, EH13 9DY       
There is insufficient space available on this stretch of pavement as the siting and dimensions of a street works style base station would restrict pedestrian movements to unacceptably low levels.

10 Greenfield – Colinton Mains Bowling Club and surrounding field, Oxgangs Road North, Edinburgh, EH13 9DY       
This site is found on the edge of the search area and given its geographical position would not provide meaningful coverage and capacity to the target area. Therefore, this site has to be discounted as it does not meet operator’s technical requirements. The proximity to the local school was also taken in to consideration.

11 Streetworks – Oxgangs Place/Gardens/Drive/Grove/Avenue/Drive, Edinburgh, EH13 9BE            
There are houses fronting both sides of this road on Oxgangs Place /  Gardens / Drive / Grove / Avenue / Drive, the pavements are narrow and there are regular driveways and pathways for some of the properties. Given the purely residential setting, we consider there are no opportunities to site a street works style proposal on this road as any proposal would compromise pedestrian movements, access arrangements to properties and would also likely impact on highway safety. In addition, the scale of this proposed installation would be out of keeping with the scale of this street.

12 Streetworks – Oxgangs Terrace/Collinton Mains Terrance/Grove/Road, Edinburgh, EH13 9BY    
There are houses fronting both sides of this road on Oxgangs Terrace/Collinton Mains Terrance/Grove/Road, the pavements are narrow and there are regular driveways and pathways for some of the properties. Given the purely residential setting, we consider there are no opportunities to site a street works style proposal on this road as any proposal would compromise pedestrian movements, access arrangements to properties and would also likely impact on highway safety. In addition, the scale of this proposed installation would be out of keeping with the scale of this street.

13 Streetworks – Colinton Mains Drive, Colinton Mains, Edinburgh, EH13 9BJ   
There are houses fronting both sides of this road Colinton Mains Drive, the pavements are narrow and there are regular driveways and pathways for some of the properties. Given the purely residential setting, we consider there are no opportunities to site a street works style proposal on this road as any proposal would compromise pedestrian movements, access arrangements to properties and would also likely impact on highway safety. In addition, the scale of this proposed installation would be out of keeping with the scale of this street.

14 Greenfield – Oxgangs Police Station, Oxgangs Road North, Colinton Mains, Edinburgh, EH13 9BW        
Given the height and maturity of the trees found next to this site, this natural clutter would prevent the effective propagation of radio signals towards the target area and so this location had to be discounted.

The Local Planning Authority mast register and our records of other potential sites have already been reviewed, the policies in the Development Plan have been taken into account and the planning history has been examined.

All Cornerstone installations are designed to be fully compliant with the public exposure guidelines established by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). These guidelines have the support of UK Government, the European Union and they also have the formal backing of the World Health Organisation. A certificate of ICNIRP compliance will be included within the planning submission.

As well as consulting with yourselves as the ward councillors, we are also seeking the views of the Local Planning Authority and the local MSP, Gordon MacDonald. We would be grateful if you could please advise of any local stakeholders or groups that you feel might like to make comments over and above those that you we have already identified.

Our usual consultation period for this type of development is 14 days, however we appreciate that at this time of year this may be difficult so, under these circumstances, we would still be happy to receive your comments out with that timeframe.

We look forward to receiving your comments on the preferred option identified and any alternatives options that you feel would be worth investigating.

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