A telecommunications company is continuing its fight to build a phone tower less than 100 meters away from an existing one in Houston after council chiefs rejected their request.
CK Hutchison Networks, which operates Three, has appealed to the Scottish government after failing to get permission from Renfrewshire Council to erect the 20m-high 5G mast on Magnus Road.
Villagers staged a protest over the plans last year, noting that it is a highly populated residential area and that there is already a 4G mast approximately 70 meters from the site in question, which is considered an “eyesore”.
The council agreed with the objectors that the telephone tower would have a detrimental impact on the visual comfort of the area and rejected a request for prior approval.
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But CK Hutchison Networks has refused to take no for an answer and hopes ministers will overturn the council’s decision.
Houston Councilwoman Alison Dowling said she was “disappointed” that an appeal had been filed.
The Labor elected member said: “It gives the impression of trying to undermine public scrutiny.
“It is really disappointing that they have chosen to go down this route and I think the original decision of the council should be upheld.
“There is already a 20m tall flagpole on Magnus Road which came up almost overnight despite residents’ concerns. The shock was palpable to people and some cannot look out their own windows without seeing it now “.
“It feels like an affront to the general idea that local people have the power to make decisions.
“Everyone understands that we need to have good telecommunications infrastructure and that there will be an impact on the environment that we live in, but we need to strike a balance or we could find ourselves in a situation where residential sites are overrun by rows and rows of masts.
“We also need to consider the impact of street furniture on visually impaired people because it’s not just the pole, but also the cabinet around it that can cause problems for people who struggle with their vision.”
A reporter is set to pay a site visit soon and has spoken with several people who opposed the original app to get their views.
A spokesperson for Three said: “ 5G rollout and enhancements to our 4G network are vital to Houstonians and businesses. We want to provide the community with a reliable networking experience and this site will be instrumental in making that happen.
“The masts need to be located where people will use the service and in precise locations to ensure the widest range of coverage. The masts also need to be tall enough to transmit over nearby buildings and trees.
“After extensive research and surveys to evaluate all options, we have identified this as the ideal position for this mast to connect the people of Houston.
“Much of the original opposition to the mast stemmed from its proximity to another mast, which our customers cannot use to connect to our network. We hope the appeal will help us reaffirm our reasoning for the position and provide the best solution for the community.” .”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.