A 24m Vodafone telecommunications tower located off the Cappagh Road will be removed in its entirety and will impact on local coverage for networks including Eir and Three, as part of the road construction scheme, the An Bord Pleanala oral hearing into the Galway City Ring Road was told this week.
John Corridan, who was representing Vantage Towers who operate the Vodafone tower portfolio, told the hearing that the tower and the compound will be removed in its entirety as apart of the road scheme.
“This will have a massive impact on the local area in terms of coverage for Vodafone, Three and Eir as all three use the tower. There will also be a major cost in removing and decommissioning the tower, the land reinstatement and identifying a new site.
“There will have to be a new planning application, new lease arrangement and major cost implications for Vantage Towers.
“My understanding is that just a portion of the site compound is to be impacted, yet the entirety of the compound is to be included,” he said.
He asked if ARUP and the Council can come up with an engineering solution that would take less of the compound and allow Vantage the opportunity to retain the tower in its position, in exchange for the loss of some of the compound.
“We can lose some of the compound, but is most important that we can retain the tower in its location,” he said.
However in response for the Council, ARUP’s Mr O’Malley said that there is a planning history in relation to this site which sees permission for the tower potentially expiring next year.
“Permission for retention for the tower was granted in July 2019 subject to a schedule of planning conditions which includes that this shall be for two years and that the tower will be removed unless prior to the end more retention has been obtained.
“That reason is to enable the impact of the development to be reasessed in relation to its position adjacent to the N6 emerging route,” he said.