Brandon Hill mast a disgrace - Cllr Ann Phelan

PLANS to build a 100 foot high mobile phone mast on picturesque Brandon Hill, Graignanamangh has stunned the local community.

Local councillor Ann Phelan said the decision by 02 to submit a planning application for the structure was a disgrace and has called on the telecommunications company to withdraw the application immediately as a gesture of goodwill to the people of the area.

"We are talking about something which is dear to the hearts of all the people of 'Graig," she said.

"This is an area of high amenity and is part of the South Leinster Way used by hikers all year round," she added.

"Brandon Hill has religious, social and archaeological value and O2's plans will impinge on it. No one can understand why they would try something like this when there are other sites available and other masts already constructed," she claimed.

Referring to the fact that the planning application refers to the townland of Ballinakill and not Brandon Hill, Cllr Phelan said: "They can call it what they like it's still Brandon Hill to us."

She said the mast and base station were equidistant from three homes on Brandon Hill and that this also raised health issues.

Meeting

A meeting in Mick Doyle's pub in the town last week heard criticism of 02 and Coillte who own the land on which the company plan to build the structure.

"This is a sensitive area and Brandon Hill has protected views. If they allow this monstrosity to go up it will dominate as you look back through the valley," Cllr Phelan said.

Coillte admitted that it had given written permission to 02 to make the planning application. A lease is generally agreed between Coillte and the company.

O2 Ireland said the mast is necessary to improve the quality of mobile phone coverage in the area.

Statement

In a statement to the Kilkenny People it said: "We recognise that there is some public concern about the erection of the infrastructure and are committed to addressing this concern in an open and transparent way."

The company claimed to have had conversations with some local residents, including the parish priest, about the application and remained open to meeting with any local group to discuss this matter further.

It added that at all times O2 endeavours to minimise the environmental impact and visibility of its mobile infrastructures.

25 October 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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