Local Hero plot made real? Planning row hits Pennan – leader comment

Actors Peter Riegert and Chris Rozycki in a scene from the film Local Hero (Picture: Enigma/Goldcrest/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)
Actors Peter Riegert and Chris Rozycki in a scene from the film Local Hero (Picture: Enigma/Goldcrest/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)
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A planning application for a mobile phone mast in the village of Pennan – which ‘played’ fictional Ferness in the film Local Hero – has been delayed amid objections from locals.

What would old Ben say? A company from a faraway place wants to build some great big thing in his village?

Okay, so we’re talking about an eight-metre mobile phone mast, not an oil refinery, and the company in question has an office in Bellshill, rather than Houston, Texas, but it’s far too tempting not to draw comparisons between a planning application for the Aberdeenshire village of Pennan and the development that threatened its fictional incarnation, Ferness, in the 1983 film Local Hero.

READ MORE: Seven classic moments from the film Local Hero

What do the people of Pennan need a mobile phone for anyway? We all know there’s a red phone box right there on the harbourside, it’s the world’s most famous phone!

The application had been recommended for approval but councillors postponed the final decision after objections for some locals (hero-status pending).

Alistair Mackenzie said one of the “unique attractions of Pennan” was the “absence of significant mobile signals”.

But if you think this is some low-tech backwater, think again.

Old Ben and his friends apparently now enjoy “high-speed WiFi” and can Skype away to their hearts’ content.

READ MORE: How have the original locations of Local Hero changed since 1983