SCOTTISH NEWS: Edinburgh to allow council site masts

A temporary moratorium on mobile phone masts on council-owned sites in Edinburgh is set to be lifted.

Edinburgh City Council is poised to scrap the ban following warnings from telecommunications firms that the expansion of third-generation technology is under threat.

Councillors also hope that the move will cut the risk of masts being located at sensitive locations where planning permission is not required.

Applications for masts will be considered by the authority's corporate property and emergency planning department and be subject to risk assessments.

A report from development director Andrew Holmes states: "If a moratorium is adopted on the introduction of new telecommunication masts on council-owned property, then there is no doubt that this would have an adverse impact on the roll-out of the third-generation network."

Council leader Donald Anderson said: "If we don't make council land available, then they will have to go in less suitable places."

But Green MSP Robin Harper urged the council to think again. "It is a question of applying the precautionary principle," he said. "We are not satisfied that science has allayed people's concerns about the safety of the masts."

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