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Irish Left Review >>
Kildare exposes children to emf radiation without limit
Wednesday December 22, 2010 14:27 by getouttamyhead
Kildare Conty Council has ruled that communications antennae and other equipment adjacent to a junior primary school are "exempt development" following a six-month delay.
Antennae were placed at the side of a hotel over several years without planning permission. The most recent installation included two cabinets, antennae and trunked cabling which was installed to go over the roof.
The 280 children at Scoil San Carlo, Confy, Leixlip are being exposed to numerous signals. It is a recognised scientific fact that children absorb 75 percent of this type of radiation into their brains.
.Leinster Leader Thursday, December 15, 2010
Questions on exempt school mast
LEIXLIP Town Council members have been told that the telecommunications mast near a school at River Forest in Leixlip is exempt development and does not need planning permission.
At the 7 December meeting, Town Clerk Siobhan Barry said the Council had told her it was exempt development and the unauthorised development file was now closed.
Town Councillors appeared surprised at the news and have asked the Kildare County Council (KCC) for an explanation of why they believe the mast does not require permission.
Concern that a mast on the hotel near Scoil San Carlo primary school could be illegal was publicly raised by Leixlip Town Council members at their May meeting this year.
The question of the mast was first raised by the local branch of the Alliance for Irish Radiation Protection (AIRP).
On 6 May, Green Cllr. Shane Fitzgerald asked if planning permission was granted for the installation of the mast and if so what criteria has been used.
Cllr. Fitzgerald said then if no permission has been granted, Kildare County Council and Leixlip Town Council should immediately start proceedings to have the equipment removed.
At their September meeting, the Town Council was told by Town Clerk, Siobhan Barry, told the 7 September monthly meeting that warning letters had been sent by the county council but she was still wailing on its planning enforcement staff to come back to her.
On 24 June, KCC's planning control section issued the letter to three businesses, Oak Park Developments Ltd, with an address at Unit 1, River Forest Shopping Centre, Meteor Mobile Communications Ltd and Threefold Project Management Ltd.
KCC Director of Services, John Lahart, asked these to explain the erection of a second array of telecommunication antennae where no notification, under Class 31 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, appears to have been received by the Council for the first array of antennae.
It also asked them to explain the building of two cabinets.
The three companies had until 24 July approx. to respond, after which the Council, if it considered there was unauthorised development, could issue an Enforcement Notice.
At the 7 September Town Council meeting, Cllr., Catherine Murphy said she understood Enforcement Officers in the County Council were on holidays and that six months were given to the owners of the allegedly unauthorized equipment to respond further.
On 6 December, Ms. Barry said she was told it was exempt development and therefore legal but the public had until mid January to comment on it. Cllr. Colm Purcell said it would be very useful to know why they could find it exempt development and Cllr. Teresa Byrne asked why it had taken so long to find this out.
Cllr. Catherine Murphy said unauthorised development took time, in some cases too long, and Cllr. Purcell was right about the lack of a rationale. She said the rules around masts were to open to interpretation that they were meaningless.
Cllr. Anthony Larkin said apart from planning licences were needed for certain frequencies.
Cllr. Pat Burke Walsh, a former school principal, said he had been down this road before and the school's Board of Management and Parents Association needed to get involved.
At their 17 November meeting on the County Development Plan, KCC officials resisted esisting attempt to put specific distance rules on telecommunications masts in built up area.
The Plan, which will guide policy up to 2017, will not contain a proposal by independent Cllr. Catherine Murphy, which included a proposal that a minimum distance of a hundred metres should be kept between mast/antennae and residential areas, schools and hospitals.
She asked that when the Council considers planning applications that it should provide the maximum attention for public health and the preservation of public amenity.
County Manager, Michael Malone, said any emissions from masts, which could give rise to health concern, are monitored by the Communications Regulator, who is the competenty authority and is independent of the planning system.