Telecommunications mast plans at GAA Club appealed by residents

By Aideen O'Flaherty

SOUTH Dublin County Council’s decision to grant permission for a 20-metre-high telecommunications mast and floodlights at St Mary’s GAA Club in Saggart has been appealed by two community groups.

The contentious plans attracted eight objections after they were lodged with the council by CK Hutchison Networks Ireland last August.

St Marys Saggart 09 1

St Mary’s GAA Club telecommunications mast and floodlights have been appealed

St Mary’s National School in Saggart lodged an objection against the plans, stating that the location of the mast relative to the school playground “is a cause of great concern”, as is its proximity to the school’s ASD Unit, with particular reference to sound and other noise factors.

The Pairc Mhuire Residents’ Association, the Tassaggard Green Management Company, the St Mary’s National School Parents’ Association, the Saggart East Residents’ Association and Cllr Francis Timmons also lodged objections.

The objectors’ primary concerns included the proximity of the mast to the local school and residential areas, the scale and height of the mast and potential noise emissions, potential health concerns, and a lack of communication with the local community before the plans were lodged.

When the council granted permission for the plans in December, they stated that the communications equipment “shall not be so loud, so continuous, so repeated, of such duration or pitch or occurring at such times as to give rise to a noise nuisance affecting any noise-sensitive location.”

The local authority also stipulated that any obstruction lights used on the structure must be incandescent or of a type visible to Night Vision Equipment.

Last month, Pairc Mhuire Residents Saggart and St Mary’s National School’s Parents’ Association Committee lodged separate appeals against South Dublin County Council’s decision.

Outlining their grounds for appeal, the St Mary’s Parents’ Association stated they were “seriously concerned over any possible adverse health implication to the 714 children and associated staff at St Mary’s”.

They criticised the proposed location of the mast, which they described as being “officially” on the premises of the GAA club’s land, but said it is “practically so close that it may as well be in the school yard”.

They added that co-location with other networks’ masts in a different location should be explored, and in their conclusion stated that “a cautionary approach should be adopted and our children’s health should be put first”.

The Pairc Mhuire Residents’ appeal stated that the mast would be “an eyesore” and “visually obstructive”.

They also cited health concerns about the presence of a mast in the locality, and their view that the mast could devalue the cost of their homes “and may put families off wanting to live here”.

A decision on the two appeals has not yet been made by An Bord Pleanála.

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