uWave dishes to be removed from the London GPO/BT Tower
- This has also sparked a thread on the No.19Set yahoo group which may also interest you:
The dish-shaped aerials on the London GPO/BT Tower are to be removed because of fears they are a danger to the public.
A report on their condition said they posed "a significant health and safety risk" to people around the 620ft landmark.
Bolts and brackets are missing or partially detached on some dishes while others are sagging, dented and corroded.
Three aerials were removed in November because they posed an "immediate" risk. It will mean the appearance of the tower will be changed dramatically after planning consent for their removal was granted by Camden council.
Because of the height of the 29 aerials the operation is potentially dangerous. Scaffolding will be erected to catch any falling equipment when they are removed, with the most seriously weakened going first.
They will be dismantled in situ before being taken down in the building's lifts. New technology has spelled the end for the aerials, the first of which was installed on the tower in 1961 and the last in 1987.
Used to transmit microwave signals for TV broadcasting and telephone calls, they have been surpassed by fibre optic cables and are now redundant.
Continued maintenance of the aerials has also become untenable because of a lack of replacement parts to repair the air compressors used to provide a constant air supply to the aerials to maintain their rigidity, BT said.
A plan to replace the aerials with non-functioning replicas was discounted by the company on cost grounds and because it would not reflect its position "at the forefront of telecommunications technology".
The tower is Grade II listed but the aerials are not. The council noted the "transient nature" of the aerials and agreed planning permission on the grounds that "its role in telecommunications and the building's tall and elegant form would be largely unaltered by the proposals".
Built between 1961 and 1964, the BT Tower was commissioned by the General Post Office to keep pace with communications technology as demand for broadcasting and telephone communication increased. It needed to be high enough to carry a clear path for hundreds of simultaneous radio signals.
http://www.thisislo ndon.co.uk/ standard/ article-23982147 -unsafe-bt- tower-aerials- to-be-removed. do