Residents angry at O2 mast appeal

A COMMUNITY is furious that a rejected planning application to build a 15 metre phone mast is to be reconsidered by the Scottish Government.

Thursday, 22nd July 2010, 12:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2010, 12:32 pm

Residents in Condorrat celebrated back in April when plans for the O2 mast, which was to stand near the village library, were unanimously rejected by North Lanarkshire Council.

But the mobile phone giant has now appealed to the Scottish Government against the decision and a site inspection by Government officials took place this morning (Wednesday).

John Burke, chairman of the Condorrat Tenants and Residents Association, said: "We were so happy to win this unanimously. Then we get a letter from the Scottish Government stating that O2 have appealed against it.

"School children cross the road near the library and the mast would make this a death trap for them as it would block them from the sight of traffic. The whole community is behind the decision, as are the schools and local councillors."

At the time of the application residents also raised concerns that the mast was a visually inappropriate inclusion to the village, which won a Beautiful Scotland award last year, and has a proud historical heritage linked to its mining past.

North Lanarkshire Council refused the application on the grounds that alternative sites had not been considered and that the proposed mast and equipment would be detrimental to the look of the area.

O2 however, claims the mast will allow local customers to get the best possible service and that the structure will blend in with existing street furniture.

An O2 spokesperson said: "We are committed to investing to ensure that O2 and Vodafone customers who live and work in Condorrat can benefit from mobile phone networks they can rely upon. Our agents have made a detailed analysis of the area and found this to be the most suitable site for current and future coverage and capacity whilst blending with the streetscape."

Local councillor Willie Goldie is backing the residents' campaign. He said: " We were starting to make some progress in Condorrat to regenerate the area, this would put us back a step."