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Multiple objections to Quilty mast proposal

THE last week has seen numerous objections lodged to the proposed development of a 24-metre monopole mobile and broadband tower at Tromara, Quilty.

The planning application has been made by Cignal Infrastructure Limited and comes just months after a similar proposal was turned down by both Clare County Council and An Bord Pleanála.

Kilmurry Ibrickane Ladies Football Club have made one of the objections and it claimed that what is being proposed is a recycled version of the earlier failed application. “There was a similar application for such a development less than a year ago in the same area, which was eventually rejected. Why should this development be any different? Especially when this development is now closer to our grounds than the previous one.”

They claim that the area is already adequately served and dispute that the development would have a local benefit. “We know there is a mast already situated 1.5km away from the GAA grounds, outside of the urban centre of our community. So why is it deemed necessary to introduce another mast so close to one already there?

“We understand that there are no complaints in the locality in relation to phone signal or internet speeds as a 4G network is widely available. In addition, the area is connected to fibre broadband.”

A similar objection was made by Councillor Cillian Murphy, who also claimed that the application has essentially resubmitted the earlier proposals, which were rejected by both the County Council and An Bord Pleanála. “There have been minor changes to this new planning application but it has failed demonstrably in addressing the principal issue at the heart of the previous refusals by both CCC and ABP,” said the councillor.

“Its new proposed location is even more proximate to the village of Quilty, it will be equally visually intrusive on this flat landscape, if not more from some perspectives, and will be even closer to some neighbours homes than the previous iteration.

“In my personal opinion, I would go so far as to consider this application to be a nuisance, a drain on the resources of the local authority in the first instance, and the local community in the second.

“The latter have been called upon again, the second time in a year, to expend significant time, energy and money from their limited resources to take on a large commercial venture at a time where all of those are in short supply due to the affects of Covid-19. I trust all these issues will be taken into consideration when making the decision on this development.”

Numerous local people have also made objections, many claiming that what is being sought is nearly identical to what was refused earlier this year and that the development will not benefit the local area, despite the applicant’s claims

. One of the objections came from Sean Hudson who was exasperated by the applicant’s decision to again seek permission. “This has already been turned down by yourselves Clare County Council and An Bord Pleanála and they (the applicant) think that it is okay to move a few fields over so they can apply again. It does not make sense.”

Mr Hudson also stated, “There is an existing 12m mast approximately 1.5km away, there are no complaints in the locality with regards to signal quality or speed, 4G is widely available. The area is already connected to fibre broadband network”.

An objection from Davina and Johnnie Daly stated, “The previous application was refused due to its position close to Quilty in an open landscape. However the visual impact has not materially changed in the revised location as the mast would now be closer to the main part of the village.”

They added, “The proposed structure is located in close proximity to many historical points in the area such as Tromora Castle, the West Clare Railway, Kilmurry Graveyard and Lissykeathy Ring Fort. This would drastically change the landscape of the locality in such a prominent location.”

At the time of writing almost 60 objections are visible on the County Council’s website and its understood this number will increase further. A decision is due by December 3.

Owen Ryan

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.