Three Ireland are planning to build a mobile tower or antennae at the new student accommodation replacing the Westwood Hotel in Newcastle.
The mobile operator is seeking planning permission to build a “shrouded multi-operator telecommunications installation” on the roof of student accommodation being constructed at the site of the former Westwood Hotel.
Permission for this alteration to existing plans was granted by NTMP ROI Seed Capital LP who are building the student accommodation in Dangan.
Three say in the application that this is not a new addition to the area, and that “There has been an established telecommunication presence at this location since 2004/2005 when antennae were first erected on the roof of the Westwood Hotel”.
After the hotel closed a temporary support structure was erected at the site to provide mobile and internet coverage in the are with temporary planning permission until July 2020.
“Failure to maintain a telecommunications installation at this location will have an immediate and negative impact on Three’s, Vodafone’s and Eir’s networks and their customers”.
Under Irish law mobile operators are required to share space on masts and towers in order to avoid redundancy.
Telecommunications regulations also encourage the use of rooftop sites for mobile infrastructure in order to cut down on the number of independent, free-standing structures
“This site is required to maintain the mobile voice and data coverage and services to the busy surrounding residential dwellings and retail and commercial development which will be lost if a permanent site is not secured at this site”.
The application warns that this will have a particularly strong impact on customers in the IDA Business Park, the NUIG campus, and along the N59 arterial corridor.
Public submissions related to this project can be made to the city council until September 29, and a final ruling on this planning application is due by October 20.