Monday 12 September 2011

Bord Pleanála criticises Council's 1km rule

AN Bord Pleanála has once again criticised Kerry County Council's controversial 1km rule, accusing the local authority of having conflicting policies and objectives when it comes to granting permission for telecommunications masts.

Overruling yet another Kerry County Council decision to refuse planning for the retention of a mast in Lyreacrompane, the planning appeals board said it failed to understand how the council can claim to support the development of efficient telecommunications masts, yet will not allow them within one kilometre of properties, schools, hospitals or inhabited structures.

The comments came in a report by An Bord Pleanála, which gave permission for Vodafone Ireland to retain a mast at Knockaclare, Lyreacrompane, despite Kerry county council's initial refusal. The development forms part of Vodafone's existing GSM and 3G Broadband telecommunications network.

Overruling the council's decision to refuse retention, the inspector highlights Kerry County Council's emphasis on the importance of a modern, efficient telecommunications system in its county development plan 2009-2015, which the local authority says 'cannot be overstated.' the objective of the council, the inspector highlights, is to 'facilitate the development of a modern, efficient telecommunications network . . . and to support the provision of such infrastructure.'

The inspector goes on to the criticise how the council can support this claim when it also supports its 1km rule, which will not allow them within one kilometre of properties, schools, hospitals.

"It is clear that there is a conflict between policies and objectives of the Kerry County Development Plan as it relates to the provision of telecommunications structures," the inspector stated. "The board has consistently overturned the local authority reason for refusal in the past ad there are no special circumstances which would warrant a different approach in relation to the current appeal."



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