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Bye bye to BT Tower dishes

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The communications dishes on London’s iconic BT Tower are set to be removed following concerns over their safety

Local authority Camden Council has granted planning consent for the removal of the defunct devices which will see the tower’s appearance ‘changed dramatically’, reported the London Evening Standard.

A report into the aerials safety said they posed ‘a significant health and safety risk’ to people near the Grade II listed structure.

Three dishes were removed late last year but a further 29 of the devices now face the axe.

The General Post Office commissioned the tower which opened in 1964. Camden Council approved the proposal on the grounds that ‘its role in telecommunications and the building’s tall and elegant form would be largely unaltered’.

A plan to replace the dishes with replicas was ruled out by tower owner British Telecom.

The build will open to the public this month as part of the annual London Open House weekend on 17 to 18 September.



Postscript, BT’s statement

BT has received listed building consent for the removal of satellite dishes from the BT Tower. Half of the dishes have already been removed and the rest of the dishes will be removed in the coming months, subject to the final approval of the Historic Record Survey.  The dishes have not been used for many years and have reached the end of their engineering lifespan. The dishes are being removed now, as a precautionary safety measure, before they age in coming years, and pose no current risk to the public. Some 31 large dishes are being removed in total. Most of the dishes are 3.7m (12 ft) in diameter and weigh approx 750kg to 1000kg each. They were switched off in 2006 and 2007.

The tower is equipped with a purpose designed crane which our specialist rigging team will make use of to lower them to the roof of the lower building, and from there they will be lowered onto vehicles for removal from site.

This won’t affect the BT Tower Open House event.


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