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Please note: The Above photo is to scale ... this is really how big the mast would look... The masts are 15m high which is roughly 10.7 times taller than a car!

Click Here for Photos from

Santas Visit to Cavehill


PRESS RELEASE.. Tues 10th Dec 10.30am


SANTA FLIES IN TO SUPPORT RESIDENTS…!

& Gets "stuck in" to Mobile Phone Company

Santa could miss all his Christmas deliveries next week…He's stuck solid in a "sleigh" of cement in North Belfast…! He turned out today to support Cavehill residents in their opposition to a huge Mobile Phone mast and electronic cabinets at the top of the Cavehill Road…and got really stuck in…!!

Santa was responding to a letter to Lapland from the three-year-old Beare Triplets and their friends, asking for his help. The children wrote "Dear Santa, We don't want this big Mast near our houses. Our Mummies and Daddies are very worried that it will make us sick…Please come and visit us before the nasty Mast company builds it at Christmastime…"

Santa…in the form of local resident James Delaney, duly obliged…and became the first Santa/person to step into a sleigh of cement which is placed on the exact spot where the Mast is scheduled to be built. He said; "At a meeting last week, the Mast Company, Hutchinson H3G, completely dismissed all our worries and concerns."

"They said they would shortly commence building, and nothing would stop them…not even adverse publicity, or the total opposition of local residents and shopkeepers…Also, despite a previous commitment, they said they wouldn't even wait for the outcome of a High Court case, due in only 12 weeks time".

Santa emphasised the size of H3G's proposed mast with a small Christmas tree which he "planted" in the cement… "Hutchinson's Mast will be almost 40 times bigger than this, and will be transmitting microwaves here all year round, not just at Christmas. It will also be the biggest and ugliest piece of street furniture in this part of Belfast, and a permanent blight on one of the most beautiful views of the Cave Hill"

Father of triplets, Adrian Beare commented; "We want to show Hutchinson H3G for the uncaring Scrooges they are. The residents have even built replicas of two of the very large electronic cabinets which H3G plan as an additional unwanted Christmas gift for this neighbourhood. Apart from the health hazard, these will attract graffiti and be an opportunity for youths to climb on/loiter around."

We've wrapped them in Christmas paper, complete with bows to highlight the fact that they are the most unwanted Christmas presents in 2002 or any other time."

The residents, acting as Santa's Helpers, plan a "cement sleigh" rota on the site to prevent H3G commencing construction of the 50ft Mast and cabinets. To date, their campaign has included over 1200 letters to the Planning Department, an 1800-name petition to the Assembly, and cross party support from all their local politicians and MP.


One resident has even taken the Planners to the High Court in a successful bid to seek a full Judicial Review of their decision. These proceedings are ongoing. This has delayed construction. Following several Review Hearings, the case has now been listed for Full Hearing before the High Court on 12th March 2003, and solicitors Higgins Hollywood Deazley are finalising the preparation of the case. H3G, however, are not going to wait, and plan to build as soon as possible.

Local mother Breige O'Hare stressed the great determination of the local residents and shopkeepers to oppose H3G; "We have been delighted with the support we have received. The people in this area have made their views very clear. We all recognise society's needs for mobile phones and Telecommunications Base Stations such as this…But we will not accept it right in the middle of our residential area."

" The jury is still out on the adverse health consequences of this new mobile phone technology. Some scientists have expressed major concerns about its long-term impact. Many countries take a sensible precautionary approach of not siting these masts near residential areas, hospitals or schools. Until there is unequivocal proof we believe we must act as responsible parents, and oppose this base station in every way possible."

"In any event, the adverse consequences of this ugly structure on our environment, visual amenity and even on our house prices is absolutely unacceptable".

"Finally, we would like to thank Santa very much for taking time out to support us. We feel sure that local residents will stand in for him next week so that everyone can have a Happy (and Mast-free..!) Christmas…!"


Press Release/Photo Call;

317 Cavehill Road Tuesday 17th Dec 10.30 am

For Further Information, Contact;

Mike Mc Cann 90 776647
Adrian Beare 90 715277
Breige O'Hare 90 714874
James Delaney 90 202201


Cavehill Road Mobile Mast.... (updated 21/05/2002)

There seems to be an never-ending series of applications for mobile masts occuring in the area. The latest is outside Murphy Browns restaurant on the Cavehill Road. CRAG are keen for residents to exert as much pressure as possible on the planning authorities to get this application rejected.

This mast is related to the base station proposed at the Somerton Rd Telephone Exchange - the date for these objections is closed but CRAG and FAC are joining forces against both masts. If Somerton Rd is approved, the Cavehill Rd area will be a permanent target for the Base Station's "off-spring" mast.

CRAG are very grateful for the coverage and publicity of the Belfast Telegraph - To read the article published on 21 May please click HERE

Please also have a look at The press release

Those of you wishing to object may like to use the following letter provided by CRAG. But please remember to add your name and address. You can email objections to divisional.planning.office.belfast@nics.gov.uk or click here to send email (Clicking this link will start an email via your email client)... Then all you need to do is cut and paste the letter in ... its that easy.

Mr Damien Broderick
Case Officer
Belfast Planning Office
Bedford House
16-22 Bedford Street
Belfast BT2 7FD

Planning Ref: Z/2002/1029/PA Mast, Antennae, Cabinets.- 15 metre monopole

Dear Mr Broderick

Loss of visual amenity for adjacent and surrounding properties – this proposal would produce an unsightly and unacceptable visual intrusion that would spoil the townscape character of this largely residential area. A 15 metre mast, with three antennae at 13.2 metres will introduce an unacceptable and dominant electronic structure almost 40% higher than the already large lamp-posts in the immediate vicinity. It will literally tower over the shops and houses within yards of it. Combined with its support cabinets at the base, it will bring an entirely negative addition to the local environment of this part of North Belfast, which many are working to improve.

View of Cavehill impaired; This part of the Cavehill Road provides one of the finest views in Belfast of the beautiful Cave Hill. H3G’s proposed telecommunications base station will introduce an ugly structure and intrusion to this centuries-old view of the Hill. Visual amenity was cited as the reason for the recent refusals of permission for Masts at the nearby sites of Cavehill Tennis Club, and the Gatelodge at Strathmore Park. This case merits similar refusal.

Non–essential/unwanted Street Furniture in the form of the Mast and support cabinets for the Mast. As well as providing an unacceptable obstruction and potential danger on the footpath, these will certainly be a magnet for graffiti, flyposting, etc…and for young people to vandalise, gather round etc…to the detriment of our local environment.

Servicing Requirements for this facility will also present a disturbance to adjacent residents in terms of noise and privacy, with a cumulative negative impact on residents’ rights to a ‘peaceful enjoyment of possessions’.

Health Issues; I share the concerns of many experts about the health effects of siting these masts in residential areas, and would advocate the exclusion zones of many authorities and countries. However, I understand it is not policy for the Planning Service to assess health risks in this situation. Nevertheless, the impact this proposal will have on residents in terms of health fears must be considered as this in law is a material planning consideration and the Planning Service has a duty to provide ‘a fair, impartial and independent hearing’.

Other residents and shop/office staff also have genuine fears about the potential health effects of this proposal – The sheer prominence of the Mast and Cabinets would be a constant reminder of those fears causing worry for us that in itself might be detrimental to health, and impact on our rights to a “peaceful enjoyment of possessions and a respect for family life.”

Other Factors; I do not believe this proposal meets the Policy Objectives as set out in PPS10 in relation to siting and design for minimal visual and environmental impact, mitigating measures, mast-sharing and the encouragement of improved designs. In particular, this proposal does not meet 6.3, 6.10 – smaller and disguised antennas that appear to be an integral part of the building - or represent the optimum environmental and network solution. I believe a proposal for a structure of this substantial impact should have been made under Full Planning as opposed to the soon to be removed Prior Approval, and to give the residents the benefit of the Minister’s proposed new regulations. There are also many residential properties within yards of the proposed site and Departmental Control Advice Note 14 lists proximity to residential properties as a consideration that should restrict the siting of masts. Please consider these factors and comments…

Yours sincerely

your name