Thursday 24 February 2011

Concern over road to Kerry mast site

A CONTROVERSIAL telecommunications mast near Killarney which was refused permission by Kerry County Council but granted on appeal by An Bord Pleanála, could be serviced occasionally by a new road that was not included in the planning application, a council meeting was told yesterday.

The mast at Kilcummin has attracted protests by a residents’ group which claims the area is already well served by masts and does not need the health risk of another.

The Hutchinson 3G mast was the subject of a special meeting of the council last week, after which legal advice was sought. It is within a kilometre of a number of houses.

Some 85m of access road had been made through adjoining land, with the agreement of the landowner, after the protesters blocked the private road earmarked for the site, and up to 90 trucks a day would be using the new road during construction works, yesterday’s meeting was told.

“The road was constructed and you can dress it up as much as you like, it is there,” Labour councillor Marie Moloney (Labour) told senior management.

People felt very let down by the council and by public representatives, she said.

The road applied for was different from the one being used and residents felt they were being “railroaded”, she said.

The road is not temporary because access will be needed to service the mast, councillors argued.

Senior counsel’s advice was that the temporary road did not need planning permission, the meeting heard. John O’Connor, acting manager, said the legal advice was unequivocal.

On a proposal by Mr Moloney, the council is to ask the company to suspend work to allow the residents to seek further legal advice.

Irish Times

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