As you may be aware, there has been an application submitted to the Local Planning Authority (‘LPA’), the City of Edinburgh Council for Listed Building Consent.  Mayfield Salisbury is listed in the  B category.


The applications has been made by local agents, GallifordTry, on behalf of Cornerstone who manage the existing mobile antennae, currently located in the spire of the church.  The application is to remove the current antenna and to replace them with eight 5G antenna on the exterior of the spire, wrapped in vinyl to match the stonework. These antennae are said to be required to meet the needs of the current and planned mobile network and the national rollout of 5G.


The formal notice of application was not received directly by Mayfield Salisbury until 19 January 2024.  With the deadline for comments/ objections being this Friday, 2 February, we intend to object on the grounds that: 


  -the notification was not received in line with procedures: we were notified by the agents only on 19 January. 

  -the drawings of the church submitted do not represent Mayfield Salisbury. 

  -we have not had an opportunity to discuss with the agents the detailed nature and impact on the exterior of our building.


You may also be aware of leafleting by a group ‘People to People’.  Their concerns are that the notification by the LPA is too narrow in scope; and  it is also proposed that there are potential health implications which may affect, in particular, children.


The final decision on the application is a matter for the LPA, not Mayfield Salisbury; as have been all such decisions since the initial installation of a telecoms antenna on the spire some 22 years ago. Compliance with statutory requirements for notifications is also a matter for the local planning authority.  As to health issues, the Kirk Session of Mayfield Salisbury takes  the health of those in the congregation and in the community very seriously when considering the use of its buildings. It  has sought assurances since the first installation was undertaken over two decades ago and continues to seek advice when necessary. We understand that both the current and the proposed installation comply with acceptable standards and guidance approved by the UK Government, which provides re-assurance. The LPA will be aware of such guidance in reaching its decision.


That being the case, as with the previous application last year  - which was a full planning application and Listed Building Consent application – we expect the LPA will reach a decision primarily on the aesthetics of the impact on the building.


Boyd McAdam - Session Clerk                                                

Rev Dr Sandy Forsyth - Minister