Outrage after Briggs phone mast ban is overturned

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A DECISION to pull the plug on a mobile phone mast in Bishopbriggs has been overturned.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s planning board rejected an application by Vodafone to locate a 14.8m mast on the corner of Angus Avenue and Wester Cleddens Road, in Bishopbriggs, on May 16 last year.

But Vodafone successfully appealed to the Scottish Government Reporter who overturned the decision.

The council’s reasons for refusal - including the proximity to a primary school, secondary school and nursery - were held to be inadequate by the Reporter.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s head of development and enterprise, Thomas Glen, explained: “The Reporter considered that the site chosen was in their opinion the best available in the area and that the adverse environmental impact was outbalanced by the importance of high quality telecommunications facilities.”

At the council’s development and infrastructure committee meeting last week, it was unanimously decided to write to the Scottish Government in protest at the decision.

Campsie and Kirkintilloch North councillor Charles Kennedy said: “Why do we even have a development plan if it can just be overruled because it’s ‘the best site there is’?

“I can’t believe there isn’t something we can do about this.”

Bishopbriggs South councillor Alan Moir added: “This suggests that we have a gun to our heads when it comes to a planning application of this kind.

“It seems the barn door has been blown open and any application is fair game.

“Our representation was first class but it was swept aside by the Reporter.”

And Provost Eric Gotts also joined the calls of protest.

He said: “My concern is that the Reporter seems to be saying that national requirements take precedent over local concerns. The main ground we had for the rejection was amenity protection and this was ignored.”

The meeting came days after Vodaphone made another application for a mobile phone mast - this time at 31 Glasgow Road, Kirkintilloch.

It will be considered at a meeting of the planning board later this year.

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