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An Bord Pleanala give go-ahead for wi-fi mast at Djouce Woods


An Bord Pleanala's offices.

An Bord Pleanala's offices.

An Bord Pleanala's offices.


An Bord Pleanala has overturned Wicklow County Council’s decision to refuse permission for a 30m wi-fi mast at Djouce Woods.

4Site, on behalf of Cignal Infrastructure Ltd, lodged an appeal with the Bord in May 2021 after the local authority declined to grant permission to construct a 30m high multi-user lattice tower telecommunications structure, carrying antenna and dishes enclosed within a 2.4m high palisade fence compound, a new access track and other associated site works. 

Wicklow County Council refused the application on the grounds that the development would an obtrusive feature in a sensitive rural location at the Coillte Djouce Woods on the Deerpark Road. 

The appeal argued that the new mast is needed to improve telecommunications coverage in the area, particularly at Powerscourt Waterfall, the car park and at the Djouce Woods car park. 

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It acknowledges that the tower is taller than the tree cover, but argues it will be screened by the surrounding landscape of agriculture and commercial forestry. It is argued that the wi-fi mast will not have an undue negative impact on the visual and residential amenity of the area.

The appeal also points out that national policy and Wicklow's County Development Plan are broadly supportive improvements to communications infrastructure to enhance services.

Several submissions were made to the Bord raising concerns about the visual impact of the project and questioning the need for greater coverage . 

While the Bord’s inspector agreed that the mast would be visible from several points in the wider area, they concluded that such views would be “intermittent” on the landscape.

It was also felt that the developer had justified the need to construct the new wi-fi tower and to improve coverage. 

A revised proposal for the mast was also submitted to the Bord for their consideration. 

An Bord Pleanala granted permission to construct the wi-fi tower as it would contribute to improvements in telecommunications coverage in the area. The Board considered that the tower would be obscured by the forestry and would not have an unacceptable impact on the residential or visual amenity of the surrounding area.

Permission to construct the 30m structure was granted subject to four conditions relating to surface water drainage and the design and colour scheme of the structure.