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Fortwilliam Action Committee

Sample Letters of Complaint re Planning Applications for
PHONE MASTS at  GATELODGE & LANSDOWNE HOTEL


Divisional Planning Officer
Belfast Planning Office
Bedford House
16-22 Bedford Street
Belfast BT2 7FD

DearSir/Madam

Your Ref: 2224/F – 657 Antrim Road, Lowwood, Belfast

I wish to lodge an objection to the above planning application for the following reasons:

The Lansdowne Court Hotel sits within the boundary of the Somerton Road Conservation Area and I cannot understand how such a mast could comply with efforts to preserve the character of the area.  In fact, this application not only contravenes each element of Policy BH12 New Development in a Conservation Area but does it not also constitute a “change of use”  (7.9 Conservation Areas) in that no longer will 657 Antrim Road be an hotel but an hotel and a base station?

Due to the ongoing research into the health effects of radiation from these masts they should not be sited in residential areas until the results of this research is known.  I would urge you to apply the “precautionary principle” as recommended by the Stewart Report – a study by 12 independent experts commissioned by the Department of Health.

The Lansdowne/Antrim Road area is a densely populated residential district with a very young population.  Professor Sir William Stewart, a former Government chief scientist has stated that children might be more vulnerable to the low-level radiation emitted by masts because they have thinner skulls
and a developing nervous system.  The Lansdowne Court Hotel is close to three local schools and adjacent to a parish hall used daily for after-school activities by local children.

BT Cellnet’s application for a mast at nearby Somerton Road (earlier this year) was rejected by the Planning Office on “visual amenity” grounds and yet the Lansdowne Court Hotel sits on a much higher level than the Somerton Road site –the base station would be much higher than the surrounding buildings and totally out of keeping with the established nature of the area.

There is insufficient scientific evidence to determine conclusively whether the radiation from these base stations could be harmful or not to human health– given the uncertainty surrounding the issue I believe that the subsequent worry and stress caused by the siting of a mast near my home not only affects my ‘peaceful enjoyment’ of my possessions (Article 1 of Protocol 1 Human Rights Act) but in itself could be detrimental to my health. 

Please consider these comments when processing this application.

Yours faithfully

Divisional Planning Officer
Belfast Planning Office
Bedford House
16-22 Bedford Street
Belfast BT2 7FD

DearSir/Madam

Your Ref: : Z/07/2310/PA:  Footway opposite 669 Antrim Road, Belfast, BT15 4EG.

I wish to lodge an objection to the above planning application for the following reasons:


The proposed site is in the centre of a very busy area, that is, close to apartments and houses, a dentist’s surgery and beside a bus stop used daily by a high volume of school children on route to and from nine local schools. Department Control Advice Note 14 lists proximity to existing properties, both residential and commercial as a consideration that should restrict the siting of masts.

The proposed antenna would have a clear detrimental visual impact especially in respect of the nearby Somerton Road Conservation Area.  The two equipment cabinets would be targets for vandalism and graffiti causing a nuisance for local residents.  This proposal will detract from the nearby Conservation Area as the mast and equipment cabinets will be clearly visible from the Conservation Area Boundary at the Lansdowne Hotel. 

The proposed site is adjacent to the Gate-Lodge (now a dentist’s surgery) which is a listed building and would breach DCAN14 which states particular regard should be given to the siting and appearance of new masts in proximity to listed buildings.

Due to the ongoing research into the health effects of radiation from these masts they should not be sited in residential areas until the results of this research is known.  I would urge you to apply the “precautionary principle” as recommended by the Stewart Report – a study by 12 independent experts commissioned by the Department of Health.

Insufficient scientific evidence has created a climate of confusion and uncertainty - I believe therefore that the subsequent worry and stress caused by the siting of a mast near my home not only affects my ‘peaceful enjoyment’ of my possessions (Article 1 of Protocol 1 Human Rights Act) but indeed that worry and stress in itself could be detrimental to my health. 

This proposal should be subject to the full planning process – not the soon to be revoked Prior Approval Procedure - the Human Rights Act 1998 (Article 6) requires that a “fair, impartial and independent hearing” must be given.

Please consider these comments when processing this application


Yours faithfully