Monday 12 January 2009

Residents win battle over mobile phone antennae

RESIDENTS OF a small Waterford fishing village have won a three-year battle to have a mobile phone antennae taken down from the roof of their local shop.

An Bord Pleanála, in two separate decisions, has ruled in favour of residents of Dunmore East who are now celebrating their victory over three communications companies – Hutchinson 3G, Meteor and 02.

The 12 antennae and dishes on the roof of the village’s Londis store were erected initially without planning permission and residents claimed they only became aware of them when their television sets starting picking up interference.

But following a ruling by An Bord Pleanála, the locals now plan to demand that the equipment – over which they had expressed health concerns – be taken down.

“This is a significant result for the group of determined residents who came together and battled against something they felt was just not right,” said solicitor John Reedy.

Residents complained that the equipment was located only yards from homes, shops and also a playschool attended by 30 children. Residents had said that while there was no proof of risks, there was no proof to the contrary either.

Meteor and 02 had lodged a joint application for planning retention for their equipment while Hutchinson 3G had applied alone. At the height of the dispute, Meteor and 02 had claimed that their antennae could help in future sea rescues in the fishing village.

Irish Times

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