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Brownstown residents win lengthy battle to stop mobile phone mast
Ireland Created: 26 Oct 2011
RESIDENTS of the village of Brownstown, near the Curragh Camp, have succeeded in a lengthy battle to prevent the Meteor telecommunications company from erecting a 42-feet high mast in the rear garden of a local property.

The residents, who formed the limited company, BETTY (Battle Environmental Threats To You), issued legal proceedings against Meteor at the Circuit Court. However, before the case reached the hearing stage, Meteor submitted an affidavit stating that it no longer had any interest in pursuing work at the Brownstown location. The company also moved to undo the work that it had already carried out at the site in preparation for the erection of the proposed mast.

The residents began their campaign 18 months ago, with a petition containing 140 signatures (virtually everyone in the small village) submitted to Kildare Co Council.They also engaged in active protest by blocking the entrance to the site in question with a tractor.

That was back in March of 2010 and shortly afterwards, Kildare Co Council asked Meteor to desist from work on the site while the matter was investigated.

The location for the proposed mast was the backyard of No 4, Duff’s Terrace, one of the older developments in the village. However, the residents complained that although this was being proposed with the permission of the property owner, the development represented a health hazard as the yard in question was very small and the mast would be too close to other occupied homes on the terrace, and to houses in a larger estate located behind the terrace. The homes in question are sited near to the Rising Sun pub in Brownstown village.

At the time, Meteor claimed that, with the permission of pub owner Kevin Cooke, it planned to swap the existing roof-mounted mast on the Rising Sun for the new structure carrying Meteor equipment, to the rear of 4, Duff’s Terrace.

It noted that the height of the new structure would not exceed the height of the replaced structure and would not be more than twice its width. As an exempted development, it did not require planning permission, Meteor said. The company also stated that all guidelines and regulations in respect of health and safety would be closely followed.

However, the residents persisted in their opposition, sending letters to the company and eventually issuing legal proceedings when their protests did not meet with any positive response. They were recently rewarded by the effective withdrawal of Meteor.

A statement issued by the residents noted: ?ollowing our legal action, Meteor have left No. 4, Duff’s Terrace, Brownstown, and declared they no longer have any further interest in pursuing telecommunications development there. Consequently, our legal action against Meteor was wholely justified.”

According to the residents’ lawyer, Ms Barbara Ohlig, Meteor has now left the Brownstown site, having undone the work it initially carried out. This included digging out a pipe it had laid and returning the proposed mast site to its original condition.

“The residents regret that they had to embark on legal proceedings in the first place but they are very satisfied with this outcome,Ms Ohlig stated.
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Source: Kildare Nationalist, 25 Oct 2011

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