Mast Appeal

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Electro Sensitivity

Kerry County Council in all their wisdom have approved an application from Three Ireland to build a 30 meter (100ft) high latticed mast about a kilometre away from where I live – right in the middle of a scenic area, part of which includes the Kerry Way, a world class walking destination. The application stated that the tower would be visible for two miles in every direction and up to four miles to a slightly lesser degree. Therefore, it will dominate the unspoilt landscape consisting of green fields, streams, rivers, areas of mature native woodland, farmland, hedgerows and ancient stone walls. It will also traverse the Kerry Way, a world famous hiking trail so that walkers will literally have to walk past a massive tower along the trail. What were they thinking?

A small group of us have since appealed their decision which is now in the hands of An Bord Pleanala and we can expect a final decision from them on June16 /2024. We can only hope that they find the location of the proposed mast unsuitable and take issue with the fact that no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was done.

The applicants provided council with a selection of dreary photos showing sections of the main road into Kenmare (the N 70) which included areas of hedgerows and trees, and claiming that these patchy areas of vegetation along the main road would obscure the mast from view. Well, even if the land behind the road was flat, the mast would still be highly visible from the road – but as the land rises steeply from the road up to a forested section where the proposed mast is to be located, it will literally tower over, not only the road, but the entire surrounding landscape for miles around.

Shamefully, none of the applicant’s photos showed the natural beauty of the area. The photos were very dark and the green areas looked almost black in some photos. And as the planners are not local (Tralee, north Kerry) they might not be familiar with this area at the southern tip of Kerry. The bad photos no doubt helped the planners make their decision.

The applicants also spent a lot of time talking about the “importance of digital connectivity”. It seemed more important to them than the land they were about to wreck (no surprise there). And forget about health concerns – they really don’t care how their phone masts affect people’s health. All they care about is getting their mast built. We can only hope that An Bord Pleanála takes a more conservative and conservation-minded approach when looking at all the “evidence” and over-turn Kerry County Council’s decision.