Landmark Harpenden water tower is set to be demolished

The water tower in Harpenden

The water tower in Harpenden - Credit: Archant

A Harpenden landmark is set to be demolished – and residents want to know more details about what is planned for the site it occupies.

Harpenden Water Tower is located off Shakespeare Road close to a covered reservoir but is visible from various parts of the town including the common.

A planning application has been submitted by Telefonica to build a new 20-metre metal lattice telecommunications tower close to the 26-metre-tall water tower which will subsequently be demolished.

And while most residents are quite happy to see the redundant water tower knocked down, they are concerned that they do not know the full story about what will go up in its place.

One resident, Nicola Wyeth, of Cowper Road, who has leafleted around 300 neighbouring houses in the Poets area of the town, said this week: “I am not campaigning for it to stay but as this application is from a mobile company, the council might not be looking at the site as a whole.”


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She pointed out that it was a significant application for a new mast and at the very least, residents would like to see it disguised as far as possible.

Nicola went on: “This is a big space which is being freed up. It is not a NIMBY thing but the community should be made aware of what is going on.”

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She added: “The council must have some clue about what is going on and that is what we would like to know. We don’t want one or more brutally ugle metal mobile phone towers in its place.”

She has been in touch with local district councillors and one has agreed to call it in for a committee decision. She has also found that many of her neighbours are keen to get involved with what is going on.

At the moment it is an aesthetics issue but Nicola admitted that with 3G technology being replaced by 4G, there could be increased radiation issues.

Harpenden town council, who looks at local planning applications in an advisory capacity, is due to consider the future of the water tower at their meeting next Tuesday, June 10.

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