‘We weren’t consulted over main street mast’
Anger at decision on 13.5 metre construction
Strathyre villagers are considering their options on tackling a recent planning decision to allow a 13.5-metre mast to be built in the Main Street.
Villagers are angry at mast company Arqiva as they feel little was done in the way of consultation.
They are also unhappy with the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park planning and access committee for approving the application when they say another site was available.
Villagers’ main concern is that the mast – for connecting Smart Meters – will be close to residential property and on a pathway which is shared as the Sustrans Cycle Network and the award -winning BLiSStrail.
SNP councillor for Trossachs and Teith Evelyn Tweed said: “People are still understandably upset by this decision and want to find ways to ensure the mast is not built in this location.
“To that end, I will speak to all councillors in the area to put pressure on Arqiva to consider moving the mast elsewhere. I do not think this bad publicity can be good for Arqiva or for the National Park. Villagers feel that their wishes have been ignored and people are even calling to leave the National Park. There are no winners in the present situation.”
Resident Kenny Higgins said: “There is a subdued feeling in the village following the decision of the planning committee to rubber stamp the Arqiva mast application at this location. There was not a single person from the village in favour of the proposed site.
“We all feel sorry for the Heron family who will be closest to this mast, which will clearly spoil their view. We wonder how the planning members would react if such a mast were placed outside their front door?
“We were shocked that the planners and four members of the committee would not support the common sense alternative site, which is within the required envelope of the village, a location that no one would have objected to and arguably a more straightforward installation, being the site of an existing now redundant mast ironically a criteria recommended in the planning process, where existing mast locations are preferred to new Green field site installations.
“The alternative site would have meant no disruption to Village Path users, to cyclists on the shared Route 7 National Cycle Network, to hikers or animal owners who need to move horses along the path in question. The alternative site also offered the benefit of no high trees which was an admitted concern at the chosen location.
“Putting a huge mast on the double award-wining attraction – the BLiSS trail– which is aimed at attracting tourism, made no sense at all. There is a distinct feeling our National Park is not acting in the best interest of the community, of much needed tourism or indeed the environment. It appears the village of Strathyre cares more about these important issues than what the National Park does. We cannot understand the reasoning behind this.
“At the turn of the last century, Harold Boulton wrote the lyrics to a tune that became famous as ‘Bonnie Strathyre’. There is nothing bonnie about having a huge mast on your doorstep.”
Mr Higgins added that the benefits of the mast were obsolete - because Strathyre has no gas supply to monitor.
“Many homes have dual electric supply that is not compatible with Smart Meters and several others, including myself, have been told by suppliers that their property cannot support a Smart Meter installation due to existing meter wiring looms being too short. It brings into question the planning considerations of a £11bn UK Goverment roll out of these masts throughout the UK.”
We were shocked that the planners and four members of the committee would not support the common sense alternative, which is within the required envelope of the village
Lingering bitterness Site of new Smart Meter mast planned for Strathyre