Phone mast fails to get a good reception with council planners
18-metre 'monstrosity' in Drumconrath village proposal rejected
Plans for an 18 metre high mast in the heart of Drumconrath village have run into trouble, with the refusal of planning permission by Meath County Council.
Plans for the structure had met with an angry response from local residents who had described the proposed structure as a "monstrosity".
Fears had been expressed for the health of schoolchildren, as it is close to the local school, and residents claimed it would have a devastating visual impact on the village.
Eircom (trading as eir) had sought planning permission for the installation of an 18 metres monopole carrying antennas, a dish and associated ground-based equipment and cabinets along the main street beside the community centre.
The company has said it is designed to enhance mobile service in the area.
The council said the location was unsuitable at the lowest point in the village and that there should be co-location of antennas with other structures.
A spokesperson for eir said they would review the decision.
Local residents had expressed concerned about the health implications from radiation, pointing out that planning and development guidelines state it should only be as a last resort that masts are located close to schools or residential areas.
Gavin Byrne a member of the local Historical Society said it would have been “a towering monstrosity in the middle of a rural village.
“This mast would have had a negative visual impact on the area,” he said.
"It was great to get confirmation in the post that it had been refused.
"There is already another mast in the area and it could be shared," he said.
Cllr Michael Gallagher said the site is at the lowest location in the village alongside a small river in a flood zone. “In 2O11 this site was flooded with several foot of water.
“This mast will have serious visual impact on the landscape and a negative effect on the village."
He paid tribute to local resident Francis Saul who made strong submission against the proposal to the council.
Cllr Gallagher as very pleased with the decision as lockdown has curtailed the local community in organising strong campaign to oppose the mast.
“We are not opposed to Eircom improving their communication equipment, but not at this site," he said.
“There is a mast on a hill about a one kilometre away from the Eircom site, where they could co locate and share the existing equipment.”