Internet mast plan approved despite concern

Proposals to build superfast interet broadband masts in Buchan were criticised at last week’s Area Committee meeting.

Although councillors agreed the construction of an eight metre mast at Longside Primary School, SNP councillor for Cental Buchan Jim Ingram expressed concerns for public health.

The planning application from Aberdeenshire Council was accepted by five votes to four but, despite the report saying the there is no radiation danger, cllr Ingram moved to refuse.

He said: “I’m disappointed to see this being proposed for schools.

“I would have been very concerned about the impact of microwaves, especially at schools and nurseries near infants.

“I believe these things are subject to interpretation and my interpretation is this is a danger to public health.”

Planners stressed at the meeting that superfast broadband masts should not be likened to mobile phone masts.

SNP councillor for Peterhead North and Rattray Fiona McRae proposed to give the mast the go ahead, stressing that technology has moved on in the past 20 years and the same health concerns do not apply, as stated in the report.

The plans were approved by five votes to four with SNP councillor for Peterhead South and Cruden Stephen Smith as the deciding vote.

At the same Area Committee meeting cllr Smith moved to defer another proposed mast, this time in his ward in the village of Boddam.

He said: “I think before we allow a 12 metre mast to go up in a conservation area and the impact of that I think we need to consider other options.”

The proposal has been deferred for the applicants to address other potential sites.