2
Jun
2005

Councillor slams planning ban

Jun 2 2005

Ayrshire Post

MOBILE phone masts are being put up next to people’s homes because they’re banned from council owned land, say Tory councillors.

And Troon councillor Peter Convery revealed this week that he’s taken his campaign for the ban to be relaxed all the way to the Scottish Parliament.

He insists that while more appropriate open spaces lie empty, masts are being erected just metres away from homes.

Councillor Convery explained: “By banning the use of council land for the purposes of telecommunications equipment, the council’s policy has forced mobile phone companies to target sites in close proximity to residential areas.

“In many instances the companies themselves would have preferred to locate their equipment on, for example, golf courses and other open spaces removed from residential properties.”

He added: “Two recent examples are the planning applications for 02 masts in Troon at Lochend Road and Kilmarnock Road , which provoked what in my view was a quite understandable level of concern and objection amongst local residents.

“Had the council’s moratorium policy not been in place, I believe that both of these facilities would have been sited in much more appropriate locations, nowhere near residential areas.

“While I clearly would not want to see a rash of mobile phone masts springing up across local parklands and golf courses, it equally does not seem sensible to close such locations off completely as an option, particularly when the alternative is for masts to end up being sited just meters from the homes of local residents.”

A motion by Councillor Convery and his Conservative group colleague, Councillor Alistair Kerr, calling on the moratorium to be reviewed was rejected at a recent meeting of South Ayrshire Council.

Councillor Convery went on: “ I decided to take the matter to the Scottish Parliament’s petitions committee, since I believe the parliament has a crucial role to play in helping ensure that there is clear guidance on how such moratoriums should be applied, to balance the need to roll out new telecommunications systems with the expressed concerns of local people.

“While the two recent cases in Troon have raised the profile of this issue locally, this is a problem that affects the whole of Scotland. I hope that by drawing it to the attention on the Scottish Parliament’s petitions committee, a sensible solution can be arrived at.”

The issue will be debated by the petitions committee when it holds its special sitting at Ayr ’s County Buildings on Monday, June 6.
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