Probably the bitterest of FIE'sd early battles, -including a bullet in the post - RTE swore the old Churchyard was the ONLY site - moved it 18 inches - and was refused again by the Appeals Board. RTE moved the mast. Friends of the Irish Environment
This appeal was withdrawn after intimidation of members of the group.
The Irish Times of April 13th, 1998
One appeal remained and was upheld. Permission was denied for the second time on appeal by An Bord Pleanala in September, 1998
Local Authority: Cork County Council
Planning Register Number: W/97/2065
Date of decision: 8 January, 1998
Development: 18.3 metre Telecommunications Tower
Location: Brade, Myross Wood, County Cork
Friends of the Irish Environment wishes to appeal this grant of permission by Cork County Council. We include the full statuatory fee.
This telecommunications tower was refused by An Bord Pleanala on 11 March, 1997. "The proposed mast and ancillary structures", the decision reads, "located in such close proximity to a Churchyard of amenity and heritage value would dominate the Churchyard, seriously injuring the visual amenities and character of this sensitive location." The Board's Inspector called the siting of this tower a "a particularly insensitive site choice".
Both the Church and the Churchyard are listed in the Archaeological Survey of County Cork and charged for protection by the Development Plan of the Local Authority both specifically and as it dominates an area of Scenic Amenity. The erection of such a mast at such a location is further clearly against the guidelines Development Control and Telecommunications issued by the Department of the Environment to Local Authorities which states "Proximity to listed buildings, archaeological sites and other monuments should be avoided."
The Local Authority has now given permission for this same tower moved two metres. We are deeply disturbed at this permission, since it is at complete variance with such a recent pronouncement of the Board itself. It is our belief that after the Board decides that a particular location is unacceptable, it should be the task of the planning authority to seek out suitable locations in order to minimise effects on the landscape, cultural heritage and public amenities.
If recent decisions of the Board can be overturned by a local authority in this manner, the Board's statutory role in preserving and improving amenities will be seen to be circumvented with inevitable negative results. We urge to Board to unequivocally reject this application and further to make representations to the Minister for the Environment that the proposed amendments to the planning legislation include an end to the practice by county councils of granting permission for an essentially identical development previously refused by An Bord Pleanala.