Residents fury over installation of mast

By Mary Dennehy

RESIDENTS in one Tallaght estate have questioned how a telecommunications mast was erected in their community without any prior notification to those living locally.

Kingswood residents were taken by surprise this week, when a 15-metre high telecommunications mast was erected on a public green space, beside the community tennis courts on Sylvan Drive in Kingswood. 

Kinswood Mast Protest 03 1

Residents came out in force to protest against the mast in Kingswood on Tuesday

Speaking with The Echo, resident Joe Edgeworth said: “Our main concern is the lack of information from South Dublin County Council about this mast going up in the first place.

“No one I’ve spoken with or been in touch with knew anything about this mast yet a licence was granted by the council.

“It’s right beside the playground and the tennis courts and 15 to 20 metres away from homes.

“How can a mast be erected in the middle of a community without any notification?”

On Tuesday afternoon, residents gathered at the structure, which, according to Joe, is the beginning of a campaign to have the mast removed.

Kinswood Mast Protest 02 1

“We want this removed from the area, residents don’t even want it switched on”, Joe said.

“I don’t like the idea of having these masts so close to where people are living.

“If they get this mast into this area, it will open up other communities to the same.”

Applicants no longer need to apply for planning permission to erect overground electronic communications infrastructure, which are exempted developments that can be carried out under licence.

In a comment to The Echo, the council said: “The amended Section 254 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 enables a license application for overground electronic communications infrastructure and any associated physical infrastructure to be lodged as licenses along public roads.”

When asked about the granting of permission for the mast on Sylvan Drive, the council said: “The Planning Authority assessed the application for the licence having regard to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area, the relevant provisions of the development plan, the number and location of existing appliances, apparatuses or structures on, under, over or along the public road, and the convenience and safety of road users including pedestrians.

“The Planning Authority has granted a licence, subject to 17 conditions, including limiting the licence to three years.”

The council added, as outlined in Section 254 (6) ( a) of the Act, that ‘any person may, in relation to the granting, refusing, withdrawing or continuing of a licence under this section or to the conditions specified by the planning authority for such a licence, appeal to the Board [An Bord Pleanala].’

The council granted a licence to applicant Cignal Infrastructure Ltd for a 15-metre high monopole structure on Sylvan Drive comprising street pole and antenna and associated cabinet on September 24 of this year, after seeking additional information last March.

In its conclusion, the planning authority said that, subject to conditions, the proposed development would “not seriously injure the amenities of the area and would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

Further information on the application and licence granted is available on the planning section of the council’s website (www.sdcc.ie) under reference S25419/06.

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