Anger as phone mast gets go-ahead

Controversial plans to erect a phone mast beside a secondary school have been given the go-ahead, months after being rejected by East Dunbartonshire Council.

Phone giants O2 and Vodafone were given planning permission for the 14.8m mast in Angus Avenue, Bishopbriggs, by the Scottish Government after lodging an appeal against the council’s decision with ministers at Holyrood.

The mast will be located beside Bishopbriggs Academy and adjacent to Woodhill and St Helen’s primary schools and Cleddens Learning and Child Care Centre.

Residents and councillors had objected to it because of concerns about health, the environment and its location.

Donald Macdonald, chairman of Woodhill Residents’ Group, said: “This decision rides roughshod over the council’s local plan.

“There was a good deal of opposition to this application. Local councillors were also unhappy about it, but the Scottish Government has stepped in and gone over everyone’s head.

“Decisions like this should be taken locally. This is the wrong location, there are better places for the mast.”

The Angus Avenue application followed several consultations into proposed 3G mast sites in Bishopbriggs, which were carried out on behalf of O2 and Vodafone by Mono Consultants.

A spokesperson for Vodafone and O2 said they had looked at other sites after residents objected to the location of the mast, but the alternatives did not provide the required ‘coverage improvement’.

The spokesperson added: “This decision will allow us to develop the new site that will provide the coverage improvement.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “A reporter appointed by Scottish ministers has allowed an appeal by Vodafone/Cornerstone against the decision by East Dunbartonshire Council to refuse planning permission for the erection of a telecommunications mast at Angus Avenue, Bishopbriggs.”

The spokesperson added: “The decision is final, subject to the right of any party to appeal to the Court of Session within six weeks of the date of the decision.”