A NEW and bigger mobile mast is to be erected near to Clydebank’s ASDA car park to replace an existing one.

On Wednesday October 10, West Dunbartonshire Council’s planning committee, meeting at Clydebank Town Hall, unanimously approved full planning permission, following an application tabled jointly by EE Limited and HG3 Limited.

The applicants say the mast will improve network coverage and reduce the number of base stations required in the town centre.

The council’s regulatory strategic lead, Peter Hessett, told the committee: “The application site is currently an existing telecommunications base station comprising a 15-metre high mast and three ground based cabinets which obtained planning permission in 2002.

“The base station is sited on the council’s adopted public footpath to the east side of Argyll Road, Clydebank. It is on the opposite side of the ASDA supermarket car park and near the Clyde Retail Park.”

Councillors approved the application, which will see the removal of the existing mast and a new one, 17.5 metres tall, built in its place to achieve improved network coverage.

The committee was told that there had been no objections lodged by either the council’s roads service or environmental health service.

Mr Hessett added: “There is no impact on residential amenity or built heritage in the case of this application.

“There is also a backdrop of trees on the grassed embankment to the east of the site that will provide a backdrop and screening for the mast. The proposed mast would serve two operators, thereby reducing the number of base stations required. This approach is encouraged by Scottish planning policy.

“The Clyde Shopping Centre and nearby Clyde Retail Park are busy areas of Clydebank with high footfall. Argyll Road is a main transport link through the town centre. The increased demand for mobile phone coverage includes portable electronic devices such as tablets and laptops which all use the mobile network.

“The increase in demand puts pressure on the network so the redevelopment of the mast is required to ensure operators can provide this.

“The proposal would provide enhanced and improved coverage of mobile telephones and other electronic devices in a busy commercial and retail area of Clydebank.”