Mobile phone companies denied permission to erect masts

PLANNING problems with proposed mobile phone masts in Kerry are continuing, with four further refusals in recent weeks.

It also emerged yesterday that local people are objecting to a planning application for mast near the Cork/Kerry border, with more than 250 signatures collected on a petition by objectors.

Independent FF councillor Michael Healy-Rae called for a review of the Kerry County Development Plan (CDP) to allow planners more flexibility in deciding applications for telecommunications masts.

The CDP does not allow masts to be erected within a kilometre of residential buildings, in Kerry.

“But, this is only a sham because mobile phone companies are appealing to Bord Pleanála and getting planning for masts inside one kilometre. Precedents have been set, which show the one kilometre rule to be ridiculous,” Mr Healy-Rae insisted.

“The need for a phone service must be balanced with the concerns of local people. We certainly don’t want masts erected alongside schools, as is the situation in Killorglin, for instance.”

The Healy-Rae brothers are currently seeking a material contravention of the CDP to enable planning be granted for two masts, which would provide reception in the Black Valley.

One of the O2 Communications masts would be at Moll’s Gap and the other at Looscanaugh. Applications for masts near Glenbeigh, Kilgarvan, Kells and Caherciveen were all rejected by Kerry County Council in recent weeks.

All the applications were from Vodafone Ireland, which has called for changes to the CDP.

The companies are insistent that they cannot provide full reception in Kerry unless they are allowed to erect masts in areas which have poor reception, or no reception, at present.

Meanwhile, residents of the Gneeveguilla area, close to the Cork/Kerry border, are lodging objections to an application by Vodaphone for 24-metre, slimline lattice tower in the area.

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