a mobile phone company has been charged €14,600 by Laois County Council to retain a mobile mast in Mountmellick which was erected six years ago with full planning permission.
Meteor Mobile Communications Limited recently applied to Laois County Council to retain and operate the existing 27.2 metre telecommunications support structure at the Bayroad Business Park, Townparks, Mountmellick.
The structure includes antennas, link dishes plus associated equipment cabinets and security fencing. Permission was granted for the phone mast in March of 2007, subject to conditions set out by the council which included a reassessment of the structure within five years in relation to changes in technology in the intervening time.
As part of their new application, Meteor claim they demonstrated that the phone mast is still at the “cutting edge of design and function” and hence the council granted permission for retention. However, one of the conditions of the approval was a new development contribution of €14,591.
As Meteor paid €2,665 with their original application in 2007, the company claims that the new condition set down by the council should not apply.
Meteor have now appealed the council’s decision to An Bord Pleanala, with Tiger International acting as agents on their behalf. A decision is due from the board by November 20 this year.