Telecoms firm criticised for not consulting residents over 20m phone mast

A telecommunications firm has been slammed for not consulting Renfrew residents before erecting an “eyesore” phone mast that towers over people’s back gardens.

Councillors John Shaw and Jane Strang have both expressed their disappointment in Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL) – jointly owned by EE and Three – for not giving local people a chance to have their say before a 20m mast was installed next to a smaller one which was already in place in Dean Park Road.

And Councillor Shaw has branded the consultation carried out with elected members as “misleading”, as the company only described the planned works as an upgrade to current equipment.

Renfrewshire Council said MBNL did not need permission to install the equipment as it is in line with planning legislation.

“I was disappointed with the lack of a requirement for public consultation and the misleading nature of the communications received by elected representatives concerning the works on Dean Park Road,” said SNP man Councillor Shaw.

“I had raised this with the council planning department who unfortunately tell me they are powerless under the current legislation to do anything about the mast.

“While we all want better and faster connectivity, telecoms companies should be working with communities to ensure they are open about new infrastructure works.”

Councillor Strang added: “Phone masts are important in order to boost signal, but they must be placed in appropriate areas and this is an eyesore.

“I share concerns from local residents that this mast is overbearing and substantial in a residential area, near to Renfrew High School.

“They should have been fully consulted over these proposals rather than suddenly seeing this mast taking up a major spot in the community.

“While it is unlikely the mast will now be taken down, there is a need to fully explain the decision to choose this location to local residents.”

It is understood masts on Inchinnan Road and next to Renfrew Fire Station are also due to be upgraded.

MBNL was approached for comment.

Daily Record – Paisley