Ballygunner mobile mast decision kicked for touch

Friday, March 24, 2006

By Jennifer Long

A DECISION on planning permission for a controversial mobile phone mast on Ballygunner Hurling Club’s grounds has been put back, it’s been confirmed.

Residents of the Ballygunner area and also parents of children attending St. Mary’s National School were waiting with bated breath yesterday (Tuesday) for the decision which was due from Waterford City Council.

But it was confirmed in the afternoon that further information was being requested from the club and also telecommunications company Meteor, which can be submitted over the next six months.

When it is received, the Council has a further month to make their decision.

A total of 23 objections have been received by the local authority against the application for retention which was submitted at the end of January in the name of the hurling club.

The mast has been operational on their lands since last August but only came to the attention of many locals a few weeks ago.

There’s huge disgruntlement in the Ballygunner areas as a result with many concerns specifically over possible health risks.

Among the objectors are the Parents’ Association at St. Mary’s National School which is right beside the club’s grounds, as well as its’ principal Michael White. A number of concerned parents met last Thursday night in the Woodlands Hotel to discuss the situation. It’s understood that as a result, a group met with Council planning officials on Friday to hammer home their views.

When the controversy first erupted, hurling club chairman Pat O’Sullivan, told the Waterford News & Star that the club could not go back on the deal as contracts had been signed with Meteor.

The week after, in a statement, the club said they’d been assured by Meteor that no health risks existed. They added that they would make a representative of the company available to talk to a delegation of residents/parents if they so wished.

© Waterford News & Star, 2006.



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