Planning approval for a 20m phone mast in an Aughnacloy ‘not spot’ has been deferred as the mast is within 50m of three housing developments.
Although initially recommended for consent, the matter was discussed by councillors at last Tuesday’s planning meeting as a letter of objection had been received.
It emerged at the meeting that the planning officer dealing with the application had thought permission for the housing developments had expired - but this wasn’t the case.
Submitted by the company Arqiva Ltd, it was said at the meeting the mast, six antennas and two dishes are intended to service mobile networks Vodaphone, O2, Three and EE and at 20m high, has to placed on an elevated site so the signal isn’t blocked.
A spokesperson for Muldoon Transport Systems, which owns the three adjacent residential sites, raised concerns about health effects, noise disturbance, lack of landscaping, proximity to Carrick Lough and Carricklongfield Quarry SLNCls, ecological impacts and damage to the landscape quality and amenity of the area.
“Transmitters should not be cited within 500m of schools or homes,” she added.
A comment Councillor Gildernew agreed with.
“The sites are only 40 to 50m away and if it was my family going to live in it, I would have serious concerns,” he said.
Although concerned that Aughnacloy is in need of a mobile phone mast to provide coverage in the area’s ‘not spots’, councillors were in agreement on deferring the decision to investigate the matter of the nearby housing further.