Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (449)

Paul Kehoe

Question:

590 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will make a statement on the location of phone antennae near built up areas including schools, hospitals and nursing homes; and if he intends to issue new guidelines for the erection of phone antennae and base stations in view of the general movement towards wireless technology. [25464/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

In July 1996 my Department issued guidelines for planning authorities on telecommunications antennae and support structures. Their purpose was to assist planning authorities, An Bord Pleanála, operators of mobile telecommunications services and the general public by providing guidance on dealing with telecommunications masts and base stations within the planning system.

The guidelines advise that, in the vicinity of larger towns and city suburbs, operators should endeavour to locate in industrial areas or in industrially zoned land. They advise that only as a last resort should free-standing masts be located within or the immediate surrounds of smaller towns or villages and also that only as a last resort should free-standing masts be located in a residential area or besides schools. There is no proposal at present to introduce new guidelines for phone antennae and base stations.