Broadford locals are upset at An Bord Pleanála's decision to approve the erection of an 18-metre tall Eircom phone mast on the village's main street, just metres away from the local funeral home.
The decision was made despite An Bord Pleanála's own inspector recommending that permission be denied.
"The ABP report is appalling," said Mary Lee Geary, chairwoman of Broadford Development Association. "One wonders why they won’t accept their own inspector’s recommendations."
Eircom applied for planning permission last year. Limerick City and County Council approved their request. The proposal stated that an 18-metre mast with antenna and dishes would be erected on a site owned by Eircom, adjacent to Sexton’s timber workshop and funeral home.
Geary claims the mast would be only four metres from the nearest house and just one and a half metres from the footpath.
A group of locals, including the Sextons, lodged objections with An Bord Pleanála.
The objection was lodged on behalf of the Sextons by architect Pat Boyce. He explained that the Sextons had offered Eircom an alternative site. Eircom refused, saying the mast had to be within a 500m radius of its target coverage area.
The inability to find a suitable alternative site was cited by An Bord Pleanála as their reason for granting permission. They said they were "satisfied the proposed development is located in a suitable and appropriate location for the purposes of providing 3G and 4G coverage in the area."
"We are not opposed to a mast," Geary stated. "We just can’t understand that the company is not engaging with us when we are offering an alternative site away from the street."