Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
264. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the legislation in place in relation to the minimum proximity a telecommunications mast can be located to schools or houses; the position regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37824/09]
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Deputy John Gormley): In general, planning permission must be obtained for the erection of an antenna support structure or mast. There are no legislative provisions in relation to the minimum proximity a telecommunications mast can be located to schools or houses.
There are certain exemptions from planning permission for the placement of antennae on masts by a statutory undertaker. These include — the attachment of additional antennae to an existing antenna support structure, subject to a maximum of 12; the attachment of antennae to certain existing structures, such as lamp posts, flag poles, CCTV poles, electricity pylons and certain public or commercial buildings. However this exemption does not apply to the attachment of antennae to educational facilities, childcare facilities or hospitals.
The above exemptions are conditional on, among other things, the field strength of the non-ionising radiation emissions from the site not exceeding the limits specified by the Commission for Communications Regulation. In addition, in the case of the exemption for the attachment of antennae to certain existing structures, there is a requirement on the statutory undertaker to notify the planning authority, in writing, of the proposed location of any such structure at least 4 weeks before the attachment of the antennae.
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