East Belfast Alliance Councillor, Naomi Long, has expressed her disappointment that the mobile phone mast at the junction of Cairnburn Road and Old Holywood Road will not be relocated to Belmont Park.
Following a campaign by local residents and political representatives to have the mast re-sited within Belmont Park and screened from public view, local Councillors supported a change in Council policy to permit such telecommunication equipment to be located on Council property in certain circumstances.
Cllr Long said, “As recently as January of this year, Hutchinson 3G assured me that the company was still actively exploring the relocation with Council Officers. The mast was then activated on 1 March 2003 and so I contacted Hutchinson 3G again to discuss the delay. I have now been informed that the relocation work on the mast will not be undertaken.”
“Given that the equipment will now be a permanent feature, I have sought assurances that the colour of the installation, which is particularly intrusive, will be changed.I have been advised that the base equipment will now be painted green to try to blend with other street furniture in the area, whilst the mast will be kept grey, to match the street lighting fixtures. Whilst I understand that this in no way compensates for the decision to leave the equipment in-situ, I hope that it will at least make the site less obvious for residents.
“I believe that residents and Councillors did everything possible to facilitate the Company, who initially appeared willing to pursue the relocation. Ultimately, however, the relocation relied upon the company’s willingness to undertake the necessary work. I am extremely disappointed at their decision. They had an opportunity to facilitate the wishes of the local community and instead have chosen to completely disregard them.”