The large masts erected on Cork’s northside over the weekend have been licensed for three years and do not require planning permission as they are not tall enough, Cork City Hall has explained.
Residents and councillors hit out at the large masts that were installed in Ardcullen and on Harbour View Road, Knocknaheeny, over the weekend.
Councillors in the area said there was a lack of information and public consultation surrounding the large masts and what they are for.
One has been erected near the Apple Campus in Ardcullen and another on Harbour View Road. Residents erected a sign on the column on Harbour View Road, stating the installation was “not acceptable in the community”.
A spokesperson for City Hall explained: “The wider Harbour View Road/Ardcullen area of Cork’s northside is a known blackspot for 3G and 4G mobile phone coverage.
“Cignal, who are a registered infrastructure provider and authorised by ComReg to apply for licences for overground electronic communications, applied to Cork City Council for a licence to put masts in place in this area to boost the community’s 4G access,” she added.
“Cork City Council granted a three-year licence in 2019 in accordance with the licensing regulations process in place and giving consideration to the best placement of these masts from both a technical and visual impact basis.
“These masts are exempt from full planning permission, as they are below the height levels that demands full planning.” A Section 254 engineer’s referral report, required from Cork City Council to ensure that they are not a hazard to road users, was undertaken by Cork City Council.
Local councillor and former Lord Mayor, Tony Fitzgerald (FF), said:
"Questions need to be answered relating to the construction of the two columns.
"I am very concerned and annoyed that there was no consultation with local residents and public reps.
"To me they don't look great and I'm concerned."
Fellow local councillor Thomas Gould (SF) hit out at what he described as a lack of communication surrounding the project.
“To me, there has been no consultation with the local councillors or community, not even the people in Ardcullen or on Harbour View Road. People deserve to know what these things are,” he added.
“To come in and just drop them there is shocking. As far as I’m aware, there were no planning meetings or consultations.”
Mr Gould said he had checked with other local representatives and none had been given any advance warning or information about the new structures.