Mayfield mast approval angers locals

An artist's impression of the mast to be soon put up at Easthouses Industrial Estate
An artist's impression of the mast to be soon put up at Easthouses Industrial Estate

The council’s approval of an 80 foot high ‘smart metering’ mast despite an objection from the local community council has sparked anger.

Harlequin Group have been given the go-ahead to place the 25 metre high smart metering mast in the middle of Easthouses Industrial Estate, which will monitor the smart meters of 20,000 local customers thanks to digital signal, instead of physically checking customers meters.

It will be placed next to an existing 15 metre phone mast which is sheltered by trees.

Mayfield and Easthouses Community Council chairman Robert Hogg, speaking at his group’s latest meeting last week, said: “We put an objection into the council about a mast. But it has been approved by planners.

“You will be able to see it as you go off Sherriffhall, so it has a real visual impact.

“The Scottish Government are pushing this as they are keen to get this in the local area.

“I think it will be an eyesore. But the planning department don’t think it will be. It will stick out like a sore thumb.

“Why did they not put it further up the hill?

“Nothing against smart metering, it’s just the size of it. A lot of people will be unhappy once it is up.

Local resident Stephen Liddel, also at the meeting, said: “It’s going to be the same dimensions as an electricity pylon, so quite intrusive.

“The trees there are not affecting the phone mast there. So the question is why do they have to put in such a high mast which is going to be visible from all of the local area.

“Has anyone stood up to them to say does have it have to be this high?

“It’s going to become a landmark in the local community, is it really necessary?”

A council spokesman said: “Under the terms of Midlothian Council’s approved Scheme of Delegation, elected members are notified if a planning application receives an objection from a local Community Council; members then have the option of calling the application to Planning Committee. The application at Easthouses Industrial Estate was not called in and the decision was issued under delegated powers.

“The Smart Metering project aims to provide consumers with real time information on their domestic energy consumption and is supported by both the UK and Scottish Governments.

“The technology relies on long-range radio waves and requires line of sight to target properties to ensure coverage.”