Highlands & Islands

Row looms over Glen Etive phone mast

Glen Etive Image copyright Alex Bryce
Image caption Mountaineering Scotland is opposed to the new mast

Plans to erect a phone mast in one of Scotland's most iconic glens have been sharply criticised by Mountaineering Scotland.

It has called on Highland Council to block the construction in Glen Etive.

Mobile operator EE wants to put up the 10m mast beside the road running through the glen near the southern end of Buachaille Etive Mor.

The body representing mountain users said EE's proposal would leave some views in the area "utterly ordinary".

In its objection, it said a number of alternative locations could be used in the glen, which would use the backdrop of the hills to make the visual impact less severe.

Its submission 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, viable alternatives are available to the developer. We object to the proposal and would urge EE and BT Group to think again."

Mountaineering Scotland chief executive David Gibson added: "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."

In a statement issued by EE it said: "Providing mobile coverage in Glen Etive is critical for search and rescue, the new Emergency Services Network and visitors to the area, and we welcome the feedback from Mountaineering Scotland and other parties as we develop our plans for providing mobile coverage in the area."

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