Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Springfield Mast delay unacceptable - Crowe

1 February, 2008

Sinn Fein's Sean Crowe has described the delay in taking proceedings by South Dublin County Council to remove an illegal Telecommunications mast located opposite St Marks Community School Springfield Tallaght as "unacceptable incompetence and neglect." Crowe claims he has made countless telephone calls on behalf of local residents and has copies of correspondence to South Dublin County Council's Enforcement Section going back over 2 years, in relation to this particular mast.

Sean Crowe said, "The years of delay by South Dublin County Council to act on complaints in relation to the erection of an illegal mast opposite Springfield Community School is unacceptable and highlights a high degree of incompetence and neglect.

"In my opinion there are no legitimate reasons why South Dublin County Council has failed to enforce its own planning guidelines.

"This particular case highlights a highly partisan approach in tackling these illegal masts, which aside from aesthetic reasons have questionable health implications for people living and working nearby.

"The additional factor -- that it was erected beside housing and directly across the road from a school -- led many people to believe that immediate legal action would be taken by the Council after the notification to remove the mast was ignored by the landowner.

"Despite correspondence going back over two years and letters confirming legal action would be taken, nothing, absolutely nothing has happened. In the meantime local residents are quite rightly asking why no action has been taken.

"If a similar mast was erected in flagrant disregard to the Councils own guidelines in another more affluent area of the County would the Council's Enforcement Section have adopted a different approach and acted a lot sooner?

"Tallaght and its hinterland have in recent years seen a proliferation of these illegal masts. The landowners where these masts are situated make vast sums of money while waiting in the intervening period for the County Council to bring them to court.

"In the meantime local residents have to endure the very real and possible health consequences posed by these masts.

"Exceptionally long delays by South Dublin County Council in directly tackling landowners are giving them a green light to flout existing planning laws. While this particular case drags on into another year, the losers will be the local residents, employees and the teachers and the pupils who attend St Marks Community School.

"South Dublin County Council, in the interest of its constituents, needs to restructure its enforcement section and clarify what their plans are in relation to the immediate removal of this illegal mast." ENDS

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