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Mountaineering Scotland objects to Glen Etive phone mast

Mountaineers have called on Highland Council to reject a bid to site a phone mast right next to the road down Glen Etive, one of Scotland’s most famed and beautiful glens.

Telecomms company EE has sought permission to site a 10m-high phone mast and ancillary structures at the roadside in the glen, at a prominent corner near the southern end of Buachaille Etive Mor.

Mountaineering Scotland has objected to the planning application, arguing that the mast – and two others being considered for the glen – would be visually intrusive in a landscape that has featured in tourism publicity and even a James Bond film.
The site is also within the Ben Nevis and Glencoe National Scenic Area.

In its objection, submitted to The Highland Council, Mountaineering Scotland argues that an otherwise largely unspoilt landscape and visitor experience would be compromised.

Looking down into Glen Etive

David Gibson, CEO of Mountaineering Scotland, said: “Glen Etive is an iconic, beautiful glen within a National Scenic Area: one which offers visitors a fantastic experience of the true wild nature of Scotland’s mountains.

“The mast and infrastructure would render some views utterly ordinary.

“The proposal is simply unacceptable and is a poor example of a developer seeking an expedient solution. We would expect EE and their parent BT Group to exercise better judgement of the true value of Scotland’s landscape, as an asset to be enjoyed by many, not exploited for a quick fix solution. We ask them withdraw the proposal and think again.”

In its objection, Mountaineering Scotland points out that it is clear that a number of alternative locations within the glen could be used – as suggested by Scottish Natural Heritage – which would use the backdrop of the hills to make the visual impact less severe.

It states: “As an organisation representing those who enjoy a range of outdoor activities, we recognise the importance of effective mobile telecommunications, especially in the context of safety in the hills. However, we believe that in the case of this proposal, that viable alternatives are available to the developer. We object to the proposal and would urge EE and BT Group to think again.

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