Urgent request to stop CIE from progressing with their illegal plans to replace a communication tower/mast

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 2:36 PM

Laragh House,
Ardeevin Road,
Co Dublin.

Dear Minister Cullen,

This email is an urgent request that you intervene immediately to stop CIE from progressing with their illegal plans to replace the communication tower/mast that presently exists at CIE property, Ardeevin Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin with a new mast which will be much larger and the expressed intention of which is to accommodate telephonic antennae for Vodafone, without planning permission or consultation with concerned and outraged residents.

The attached letters which I sent on the 3rd inst followed my shock and outrage at discovering on the 2nd inst from Mr Peter Cunningham, Property Section, CIE that it is the intention of CIE to replace the extant single purpose mast/'tower', which is a slim line, innocuous looking communications tower for the dart and is exempt from planning regulation under Class 23 of the 2001 Planning and Development Regulations, with a new much larger mast which is overtly to accommodate Vodafone and then to interpret the planning regulations in the erroneous manner that they have done is an outrageous abuse of planning by CIE and must be stopped forthwith. It has also come to my attention that it is their intention to do the same along the DART line and at no less than 41 locations nationwide.

Following expending much effort and energy in this regard between the 2nd inst and now I received written email confirmation from the Planning Department, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council on the 10th inst to the effect that 'The planning Authority consider that Vodafone would not be entitled to erect antenna to the CIE mast without the benefit of planning permission.' They also sent me a copy of a letter that they sent to Mr Peter Cunningham, CIE dated 9th inst. requiring them/CIE to provide details of the nature, scale and extent of the works being undertaken, the purpose of the works and the relevant planning regulations that they are claiming exemption under. The Planning Department also stated their intention to issue a letter to Vodafone stating that they Vodafone cannot erect any antennae to the proposed structure within the curtilage of Dalkey Dart Station 'as it requires planning permission'. They state that they will send this letter when they receive clarification from CIE as to what they are proposing for the site.

It is clear to me that a telephonic Vodafone mast, such as is proposed by CIE in conjunction with Vodafone for Ardeevin Road Dalkey is not exempt from planning permission. Mr Peter Cunningham, CIE in his erroneous communication to me on the 2nd inst. and in an email to my neighbour Mr Vernon on the 7th inst., claimed that the development is exempt. The Planning Dept have confirmed that it is their interpretation of the Regulations that Class 31 cannot be joined with Class 23 exemptions. For CIE to progress with the construction of this mast at this time claiming exemption under Class 23 and knowing that the true purpose of the change in mast is to accommodate Vodafone is an outrageous abuse of planning regulation by CIE. If this is not stopped I will not stop until this outrage is fully highlighted in every possible manner and media. It is blatantly obvious at this time that if they proceed with the new mast in a misleading manner claiming exemption under 23 and with every intention to replace the mast so that Vodafone antennae can be accommodated, and if it is the case that this will be repeated in many other locations, this scandal will have catastrophic ramifications.

I have grievous concerns for my health and safety from such masts. I anticipate that I would suffer so much stress from having to live and sleep under such a beam of emf radiation on a daily basis that I would become ill from that worry and stress. I would therefore be left with no option but to sell the home that I have happily lived in for 20 years. I am informed that the only way I could exclude this radiation from my home is to lead line the entire premises and this would be impossible. I also have evidence that the sale potential and by implication value of my home if such a mast succeeds would be dramatically decreased. Is it fair in a democratic society that a statutory authority for transport under your tutelage can so bend the regulations and abuse the rights of the ordinary law abiding citizen?

I expect my rights to protection of health and property to be upheld by the statutory bodies whose remit it is to do so. For a statutory body such as CIE to injure me or my family I cannot and will never accept. I expect and demand that the precautionary principle as outlined in 'Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures Guidelines for Planning Authorities July 1996 and which states: 'Only as a last resort and if the alternatives suggested in the previous paragraph are either unavailable or unsuitable should free-standing masts be located in a residential area or beside schools.' be applied in this case. I also bring to your attention the precautionary approach recommended in the Stewart Report http://www.iegmp.org.uk/report/text.htm .

I do not choose or volunteer to become part of epidemiological research by having my body irradiated from a CIE/Vodafone mast as I sleep in my bed at night. If my plea is ignored, the mast is installed and there is injury or loss to me or my family I will hold you Minister personally responsible.

This is more that an economic consideration and profit or loss concern for CIE and Vodafone. It has serious health and safety, moral and ethical implications also and these in my humble opinion must far outweigh financial considerations for decision makers like yourself with the overall responsibility for such decisions. In view of the imminent erection of the mast and therefore the urgency of the matter, the serious concern that I have for my health from the biological effects occurring at exposure levels below the guidelines, I respectfully request that you intervene by taking the protective measures available to you in the 1996 Guidelines and stop this mast at Ardeevin Road, Dalkey.

Yours sincerely,

Rosalie Prendergast
Laragh House,
Ardeevin Road,
Co. Dublin.

Mr. Peter Cunningham,
CIE Property Section,
Oriel Street,
Dublin 1.

Re: Vodafone Mast on CIE property at Ardeevin Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin

Dear Mr Cunningham,

Your intention to position a Vodafone mast, approx 10 metres from the curtilage of our house is causing my family and I great distress.

When I discovered from talking to you yesterday that the intention is to replace the existing train communication tower with a dual use Vodafone and train communication tower, that the development is exempt under planning and development legislation and that it was your intention to inform nobody we were outraged.

This is a demand that this mast not be located opposite our house on Ardeevin Road, Dalkey, for the following reasons:

It is my firm belief that this mast will damage my health and that of my family and neighbours.

It is my constitutional right not to be harmed or injured by another and your mast will cause me and others harm by causing me and others stress, anxiety and bombardment by emf radiation.

The available scientific data on cancer risks and congenital abnormalities linked to humans being exposed to radio frequency electromagnetic radiation is inconclusive.

The scientific data is insufficient on:

1. The possible altered response of humans taking medicines. (My husband is taking medicine).

2. On possible combined effects of radio frequency electromagnetic radiation with chemical or other physical agents in the environment.

3. On the possible effects of modulated microwave fields on the central nervous system and the possible existence of ‘power’ and ‘frequency’ windows for such effects.

4. On the possible non-thermal effects.

I am proactive in protecting my health and that of my family and in my job in protecting the health of the community. My knowledge of the aforementioned facts and of your intention to nonetheless force me to accept a beam of this non-ionising radiation to penetrate the cells of my body as I inhabit my abode is already causing me stress. I have a right not to have to wait for reactive epidemiological studies to safeguard my health. I do not choose to wait for 20-30 years for epidemiological studies to prove cause effect of EMF exposure and cancer.

It is acknowledged now that children are particularly vulnerable because of their developing nervous systems. The size of their skulls allows them to absorb more radiation than adults. Some of my neighbours have small babies and soon they will lie in their beds and have this radiation foisted on their innocent care.

The location of Base station masts in the vicinity of schools is now frowned upon. Should the same precautions not apply to a child in their own home, where they will spend proportionately more of their time? I refer you to a planning decision that was made by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council as far back as 1997 and upheld by An Bord Pleanala (Planning Register Reference No. D 97A/0510). Permission was refused for the erection of a mast at an industrial site at Knapp and Peterson, Sallynoggin Industrial Estate in close proximity to a school and in a densely populated area because it would not comply fully with the Guidelines issued by the Department of the Environment to Local Authorities in 1996.

For the same reasons your mast will contravene the Department of the Environment Guidelines 1996. These guidelines clearly state in Section 4.3 that ‘only as a last resort or if the alternatives suggested in the provision paragraph are either unavailable or unsuitable should free standing masts be located in a residential area or beside schools’.

This is a residential area. There are human beings including babies living here.

You advise me that you are exempt from planning requirements under Article 4 of the Local Government Planning and Development Regulations 1997. What about the requirements under the 2001 Regulations? I refer to Class 31 (d) of those Regulations, where it is specified that equipment such as you plan to install (i.e. ‘equipment for transmitting or receiving signals from satellites in space’) shall not exceed 10 metres in height and such equipment shall be situated within 10 metres of the curtilage of any house save with the consent in writing of the owner or occupier there of, or within 10 metres of the window of a workroom of any other structure’. You advised me yesterday that this mast will be 20 metres high and how far do you think it will be from the curtilage of my home?

How do you plan to monitor the field strengths of the non-ionising radiation emissions from the radio station container and communicate the results of such monitoring to the concerned residents?

Finally it states that ‘The planning authority in whose functional area the …..shall be notified by the statutory undertaker in writing of the proposed location of any such structure at least four weeks before such attachement.’

Are you obliged to notify the Planning Department as per above or as per Section 5 declaration? When is it your intention to locate the mast and have you yet notified the Planning Department?

I regard the erection of a telephonic communications mast at the aforementioned location as a threat to my health, well being and peace of mind and a breach of my constitutional right to live in a healthy and safe environment and as such insist that it not be located at Ardeevin Road, Dalkey.

Yours sincerely,

Rosalie Prendergast

c.c. Vodafone Head Quarters; Planning Department, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council; Department of Communications Marine and Natural Resources; Comreg.; Minister Noel Dempsey; Mary Harney T D, Tanaiste and Minister for Health; other concerned citizens.

Laragh House,
Ardeevin Road.

Re: Vodafone Mast at Ardeevin Road, Dalkey

To whom it may concern,

It is the intention of CIE in conjunction with Vodafone to locate a telephonic communication mast at Ardeevin Road, Dalkey. The foundation is already prepared.

CIE claim that they are exempt from planning regulation.

Planning Department are presently investigating this claim and are sending an inspector out to the area today.

I believe that this mast will send emf radiation in the direction of our homes, that this will damage our health and devalue our homes.

There was no consultation whatsoever with any residents in so far as I can ascertain in relation to this.

Yesterday I made my personal protest and demand that this mast not be installed in a letter to CIE and c.c. to Vodafone Head Quarters; Planning Department, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council; Department of Communications Marine and Natural Resources; Comreg.; Minister Noel Dempsey; Mary Harney T D, Tanaiste and Minister for Health; other concerned neighbours.

The person responsible in CIE is Mr Peter Cunningham, CIE Property, Oriel Street, Dublin 1. Tel 7032928. e mail peter.Cunningham@cie.ie The contact person in Vodafone is Mr Colin Feeley, Tel 2037777, e mail colin.feeley@vodafone.com

The Stewart Report (2000) on Mobile Phones and Health states that:
‘6.44 The anxieties that some people feel, when the uncertainties in scientific knowledge is ignored can in themselves affect their well-being.

6.39 We conclude, therefore, that it is not possible at present to say that exposure to RF radiation, even at levels below national guidelines, is totally without potential adverse health effects, and that the gaps in knowledge are sufficient to justify a precautionary approach.’

The Department of the Environment and Local Government July 1996 Guidelines for Planning Authorities states:
‘4.3 … Only as a last resort and if the alternatives suggested in the previous paragraph are either unavailable or unsuitable should free-standing masts be located in a residential area or beside schools.’

Rosalie Prendergast.

Informant: Colette O'Connell


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Februar 2005

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