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Decades-old covenant to protect Berrylands Triangle dismissed as phone mast erected

Government planning chiefs dismissed out of hand a decades-old covenant that promised the people of Berrylands that a small patch of land in Raeburn Avenue would remain untouched as a public garden – in order to allow construction of a 13m phone mast.

The mast, belonging to Vodafone, was erected this week after more than 300 residents signed a petition. Construction was also blocked twice by Kingston Council before the communications giant appealed to ministers last March.

Planning inspector Sarah Stevens dismissed “issues relating to a restrictive covenant” – agreed between Surbiton Urban Council and former landowner Thomas and Macdonald in 1930 – in a decision in December. She concluded that the design would not be out of place, and would not cause safety problems or stop the use of the garden.

The covenant, dated December 5, 1930, states the land “shall not be used otherwise for the purpose of an open space”. The land was sold to the council for £150, records show.


The only mast that I could see appeared to anchored in the pavement not within the garden border.

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