Mast crusade results in ‘flawed’ planning application withdrawal
By Mary Dennehy
A RESIDENT-led campaign against a 69-foot tele-communications mast in Woodstown Village has resulted in the application being withdrawn – alongside prompting some local representatives to seek answers on the guidelines around the installation of such structures.
As reported in The Echo last week, a number of residents in Woodstown Village had joined forces to fight an application for a 21-metre (69-foot) multi-user telecommunications mast and substation on council land in Knocklyon Park that is leased to Ballyboden St Enda’s GAA Club.
While reception is poor in the estate and the surrounding neighbour-hoods, residents expressed objections to the mast, which if passed was to be located on parkland where children play and in close proximity to a large number of homes.
Residents also questioned the need for the mast, considering South Dublin County Council granted permission earlier this month to Cignal Infrastructure Ltd for a 15-metre multi-operator mast at Green Acres House on Stocking Lane – which, when erected, will be located around 950 metres away from the proposed mast in Knocklyon Park.
However, following a deputation meeting this week with Fianna Fáil TD John Lahart and members of the Woodstown Village Residents Association (WVRA), Shared Access withdrew its planning application for the mast in Knocklyon Park.
Speaking with The Echo, resident Elaine Cudden, who was part of the campaign, said: “This is good news and we’re delighted with the result.
“We knew all along it was a flawed application but if we didn’t stay on the ball it could have slipped through.”
She added: “We hope that this outcome has a knock-on effect in other communities that feel they are being railroaded into having these masts.
“All communities should have a say on these masts, we live in residential areas, not commercial areas and I hope this outcome will encourage other estates fighting a similar battle.”
Green Party councillor Francis Noel Duffy is submitting a motion with the council which seeks, on “health and safety grounds”, that the parkland adjacent to Woodstown Village be “sterilised from future telecommunications masts”.
He’s also submitting a parliamentary question asking for clarification on the Government’s guidelines around such masts.
“Parkland is not a place for masts,” Cllr Duffy told The Echo.
“Residents do have health and safety concerns around the radiation levels emitted from these masts and I would like some clarification on what the State’s guidelines is on masts – and if we don’t have any, why?
“I would also like to know if there is any evidence of potential health and safety risks around these mast being located in close proximity to where people live.”
He added: “I will lodge the motion and the parliamentary question and hopefully they will generate debate and we can get some clarity on what the situation with these masts are for all communities.”
While a large number of residents opposed the mast, there were others living in the area who believe this infrastructure is needed to improve reception locally.
The Echo did contact Shared Access for comment but a response was not received.