There are a considerable number of objections expected to a planning application for a 15 metre telecommunications mast close to Castlebar’s Lough Lannagh.
And the matter is expected to be discussed at the next meeting of Castlebar Municipal District, despite a directive that forbids councillors from discussing planning applications.
“There is a lot of annoyance about it,” Cllr Michael Kilcoyne told The Mayo News.
“People are annoyed that there would even be consideration for such a mast on such an attractive and important site for the people of Castlebar. There will be a lot of objections.
“Enda Kenny, when he was Taoiseach, and former minister Phil Hogan, blocked an ability for councillors to order the council to refuse or approve certain planning applications. Then the previous minister, Eoghan Murphy, issued a letter forbidding councillors from even talking about planning applications at council meetings.
“That means the power is left with unelected officials. Our next meeting is Wednesday week and whether I am allowed to raise the matter or not, I will be raising it,” he said.
A letter on behalf of residents from Blackfort Avenue/Blackfort Manor Residents Association seen by The Mayo News highlights a number of concerns, including its proximity to homes, to St Gerald’s College and the popular Lough Lannagh walk. A Facebook page has also been set up. The Eircom mast is proposed for Garryduff, Castlebar.
“The positioning of any structure including a monomast overlooking Lough Lannagh would seriously compromise the natural visual splendor of this area, the appeal to various sporting groups and undermine the great achievement of Castlebar Municipal District in creating a peoples’ park for Castlebar and surrounding areas,” they state.
“It is generally felt by those both local to Lough Lannagh and by the many people who avail of this wonderful amenity, that any proposed monomast will only be to the detriment of the great achievement that is Castlebar’s peoples’ park and for the many shoppers/tourists/visitors who visit Castlebar who also avail of the area’s wonderful gift.
“Those who love Lough Lannagh find it incredible that following all that has been achieved that any structure be allowed to dominate the scenic landscape. Lough Lannagh is in a unique unspoiled setting within a county town and it is requested that its current appearance be protected to further enhance its sporting and tourism appeal.
“The matter of a proposed mast overlooking Lough Lannagh is not a case of another group against another mast! It is a matter greater than politics or opinions on masts and the local residents/those who love Lough Lannagh have respectively asked: 1, that as the Castlebar Municipal councillors cannot comment on any planning application, all elected officials/Mayo County Council management, sporting and tourism departments etc all work together towards preserving the current natural beauty, wonderful walks and tourism/sports facilities around Lough Lannagh. 2, that the lands around Lough Lannagh remain purely for agricultural and for sporting/recreational/tourism use only.”