Heavy local opposition to Headford telecoms mast plans

Galway Daily news Planning refused again for Galway City mobile tower

There is heavy local opposition within Headford to plans by Eircom to build a multi-operator telecoms mast in the area, with residents concerned about road safety.

Eircom is seeking planning permission to erect a 21.5m high multi-operator telecoms mast at Ellagh, Headford with antennas and dishes, along with associated ground equipment.

The site of the project is at the existing Eir Exchange on Church Road heading into Headford.

The proposed development would make this site available to other telecommunications and broadband operators to improve coverage in the area.

Local opinion has been overwhelmingly opposed to the proposal, with objections specifically related to the sensitive nature of the site which is on a very busy road.

The planning application was submitted on February 27 of this year, and the county council received 21 public submissions related to the project by the deadline of April 1.

All of the submission made to the council were from individuals, businesses, or organisations objecting to the plans.

The objections stated that the increased traffic that would come from this multi-operator mast would pose a serious road safety hazard.

Multiple objections claimed that vehicles parking at the site already impede visibility for cars coming onto the main road, and that there are two schools in the area, with many children walking along this road.

The other main concern expressed in these objections was that the 21.5m high mast would be an eyesore, damaging the area’s visual amenity.

In seeking permission, Towercom Limited acting on behalf of Eircom, said that the Eir Exchange currently accommodates Vodafone atop a 12m high wooden pole with antennae and a dish.

But this infrastructure “by virtue of its lightweight design” would not be able to handle new operators such as Eir Mobile, who are expanding in the area.

Concerning the visual impact, the application stated that where the structure is visible due to its increased height, it will be in the context of “an established utilities property”.

Galway County Council is due to make a decision on this application by April 22.