‘Phone mast application near Forthill Primary

Proposed phone mast at Forthill Sports Club top corner. Our picture taken from Forthill Drive houses showing the school and the top corner of the cricket field.
Proposed phone mast at Forthill Sports Club top corner. Our picture taken from Forthill Drive houses showing the school and the top corner of the cricket field.

TWO MOBILE ‘phone companies have applied to Dundee City Council development control committee for permission to erect a 60-foot mast near Forthill Primary School.

Vodafone and O2 want to site the mast on the edge of the grounds of Forthill Sports Club near the primary school to improve their network coverage in Broughty Ferry.

Their application is for erection of 17.5 metre tall replica telegraph pole to accommodate Vodafone and O2 antenna within a glass reinforced plastic (GRP) shroud plus two ground level cabinets within a close boarded fenced compound.

In their supporting material, the companies reveal that they had considered the primary school itself as one of several possible locations for the mast.

However, they concede that putting up masts in school grounds often runs into community opposition and said that proposals on such properties are only progressed as a last resort.

In their application, the companies say that the proposed site has been located within the grounds of Forthill Sports Club to avoid locations within residential areas.

They continued: “Whilst the installation will be viewed by a number of the immediately adjacent properties it will be seen as a simple perpendicular structure with no outward appearance other than that of a style of telegraph pole.

“The height of the proposed antennas allow them to transmit signal without being impeded by surrounding clutter, such as existing vegetation and man-made developments, and to ensure its effective integration within the network.

“However, every effort has been made to ensure that any potential impact is kept to an absolute minimum. In this regard, the structure has been limited to a minimum operational height and girth, with a simplistic and operational aesthetic form.

“As a result of the above, and given the efforts made by the operator to use a sensitively disguised solution whereby the antennae are wholly enclosed within a shroud, the proposal suitably allows for the provision of the required telecommunication infrastructure whilst avoiding any undue detrimental impact upon the amenity of those living, working and travelling within the locale.”

They concluded: “As such, we would consider that an effective and appropriate balance has been struck between the operational requirements of the operator and all relevant environmental considerations.”

As is standard for ‘phone mast applications, the companies have included a declaration that the mast will conform to the required standards on radio emissions.

That takes into account the emissions for the six antennas and the cumulative impact of those from other masts in the area.

No date has yet been set for the matter to be considered by the development management committee.

q At Monday’s meeting of the development management committee, an application by Vodafone/O2 for a flagpole style antenna on the tower at Northwood, 118 Strathern Road, Broughty Ferry, was unsuccessful.

The camouflaged mast was to have been installed on the tower of the 19th century house, which is now the headquarters of the Servite Housing Association and the application covered three antennae each for Vodafone and O2. The ancillary equipment would have been installed in a third-floor room.

However, at the meeting it was pointed out that the application was in the West Ferry conservation area and several local objections had also been received.

Local councillor Laurie Bidwell told the Guide & Gazette that strong concern had been expressed at the meeting on the grounds of aesthetics and health.

He concluded: “These were factors which weighed heavily in the discussions of the committee.”