The mast would stand 23 feet higher than the apartment block and would be situated less than five metres from private gardens.
Several residents have shared concerns about health issues due to potential radiation from the structure, while local SNP MP Tommy Sheppard believes the tower would be “visually intrusive”. He also disputes the applicant’s position that the location is not within the Portobello Conservation Area.
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Mr Sheppard said: “I remain unconvinced that all options to minimise impact have been properly explored. Of the three other sites that were considered two of these were ruled out as they are overlooked by residential properties, and yet the proposed site is also overlooked by residential properties.
“In fact, the 20 metre pole will be directly in front of a development of residential flats, all of which have large windows intended to take advantage of the view, the benefit of which will be adversely effected by the pole.
“The role of promoting health and wellbeing is increasingly at the forefront of planning policy, and I am not convinced that this proposal takes this into account. On this basis I have also submitted an objection to the proposal. Aesthetically this proposal is visually intrusive, and will directly affect residents and visitors to the area. The site is of historic and scenic importance, and alternative options must be explored.”
Residents’ spokesperson Louise Birnie said local businesses which will overlook the mast are also against the plans, which many fear will destroy the character of the High Street.
She said: “It beggars belief that this huge mast could be planted just yards from people’s front doors and their must be a more appropriate and discrete location for it. Neighbours are shocked and rightly concerned about the plans and we hope councillors on the planning committee do the right thing and reject it outright.
“Portobello High Street is trying to recover after the economic damage of Covid and to attract people back to local shopping and we are fortunate to have new businesses opening up. This monstrosity would completely undermine attempts to make the High Street a welcoming place to visit and would be so out of place that to give approval is unthinkable.
“There is also concerns about health and safety aspects of the equipment and the thought of this being stuck outside peoples homes and close to balconies and gardens is already causing a great deal of stress and anxiety to a number of residents.
“We understand that everyone benefits from better telecom networks but there has to be a more appropriate and less obtrusive site for equipment of this size and scale and we would urge the Council to refuse this application.”
The City of Edinburgh Council has been contacted for comment.