15 Aug 2022

Eircom appeals decision to refuse planning for two Tipperary masts

An Bord Pleanala

An Bord Pleanála

Residents campaigning to stop a 15m high telecommunications mast being erected in the heart of New Inn village are now taking their battle to An Bord Pleanála as Eircom ltd. is appealing Tipperary County Council’s decision to refuse permission for the structure.
Eircom Ltd. (trading as eir) lodged an appeal to the council’s July decision on August 4 and residents who opposed the controversial application have now reiterated their objections to the mast in submissions sent to the appeals board.
Eir’s planning application to erect a mast at the eir exchange building at Graigue, New Inn attracted 64 objections to Tipperary County Council in June and was rejected by the council primarily on the grounds of the negative visual impact it would have on the village.
Independent TD Mattie McGrath, Cllrs Andy Moloney, Máirín McGrath and New Inn Tidy Towns were among the objectors along with a large number of local residents.
Cathy and Gerard Moloney, who live next to the eir exchange building, are among the residents continuing to campaign to stop the mast going ahead by objecting to Eircom’s appeal.
She and her husband will be the most impacted if the mast is granted planning permission so they have pressed ahead with lodging a submission to the appeal board.
Cathy pointed out the €50 cost to submit an objection to An Bord Pleanála will deter many people who sent objections to the county council from doing so again.
Nevertheless, nearly 40 residents have signed their names to the Moloney submission, showing the strength of opposition in New Inn to the proposed mast. Cathy and Gerard’s submission to An Bord Pleanála restates their concern about the visual impact of the mast on their home and the rest of the village and that this will devalue their home.
They also reiterate their concerns about a possible negative impact on their health and that further telecommunications structures will be co-located on the mast down the line.
The Moloney’s have also additionally argued in their submission that the company failed to consider an alternative site for the mast.
Cathy is worried An Bord Pleanála will overturn the county council’s decision and allow the mast to proceed. The board is due to reach a decision on Eircom’s appeal on December 7.
“We won’t know the appeal board’s decision for a while. I am a bit worried.
“It’s a big company and if you had to go up against them you would be talking about (spending) thousands of euros. We will just have to wait and see.”
Eircom Ltd has been busy lodging appeals to other local authority decisions to refuse planning for the erection of mast at eir exchange sites in Tipperary and other counties.
The company has followed up its appeal of the council’s New Inn mast refusal with appealing the local authority’s subsequent decision to also refuse planning permission for a 15m monopole telecommunications structure at the eir exchange site at St Patrick’s Place in Fethard.
The council refused planning for the proposed Fethard mast on July 13 for similar reasons as the New Inn project and also pointed out the mast would be located close to the Fethard’s historic town walls.
The Fethard mast application, unlike the New Inn one, didn’t attract any written objections from the public.
Eircom Ltd lodged its appeal on August 9 and An Bord Pleanála is due to decide on it on December 12.

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