‘Visually unattractive’ mast refused at Annie May’s Pub
A DEVELOPER who stated that it was “debateable” whether Newcastle was a village or town has lost its appeal against a decision to refuse permission for a 24-metre-high telecommunications mast.
In the decision to uphold the decision to refuse permission, An Bord Pleanála described the plans as “visually unattractive”.
Vantage Towers Ltd lodged plans to erect a 24-metre-high monopole telecommunications support structure with antennas, dishes, and associated telecommunications equipment.
Along with all enclosed security fencing, the proposed development plans for Annie May’s Pub on Main Street in Newcastle, were filed on September 6, 2021.
Eugene Spellman, director of Marinside Limited, who own the subject site, gave permission to Vantage Towers Limited to apply for planning permission at the site.
On November 1, South Dublin County Council refused permission for the proposed development.
The initial decision to refuse permission came based on the scale, height and design of the proposed telecommunications structure, the location within the Newcastle Architectural Conservation Area, and proximity to Newcastle National School and St Finian’s Roman Catholic Church, a protected structure.
With regard for the aforementioned reasons, the council came to the conclusion that the plans would contravene objectives in the South Dublin County Development Plan.
In particular, the council was of the belief that it contravened an objective which “seeks to protect and conserve the special character of the historic core of the traditional villages”.
While describing the growth of Newcastle in an appeal against the decision, which was filed on November 24, the applicant sparked debate.
“Newcastle has grown rapidly over the last five years,” the appeal reads.
“Whether it is a town or a village is debatable, however the demand for communication services has grown and is not being met.”
The statement came with the increased amount of time that people spend at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic whether it be for work or personal reasons.
Under the South Dublin County Development Plan 2016-2022, the subject site is zoned ‘VC’ for Village Centre, which has the objectives to “protect, improve and provide for the future development”.
Public services, which include telecommunications, are listed as permittable under the zoning.
Throughout the An Bord Pleanála Inspector’s Report, which was completed by planning inspector Ian Boyle, they refer to Newcastle as a village.
On April 6, 2022, the Board upheld the decision of the local planning authority stating that the proposed development would “be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.
“The structure would be visually unattractive, in my opinion, and unsuited to this area, particularly having regard to its relatively wide and bulky nature,” the inspector’s report reads.
Agreeing with the council’s decision, it is considered that the plans “would have an unacceptable impact and adversely affect the visual amenities of the area”.