‘Lit­tle One­hunga won’

Central Leader - - News -

Neigh­bours have won the first round of the bat­tle against a cell­phone an­tenna be­ing built in One­hunga.

Tele­com has shelved plans to build the tower on a Trafal­gar St shop.

“It’s not ruled out for­ever, but they’re not go­ing to put the tower in at the mo­ment,” says neigh­bour Avan Polo. “So lit­tle One­hunga won.” But he says they’ll con­tinue work­ing to­wards bet­ter con­sul­ta­tion with com­mu­ni­ties over cell tower sites.

“We be­lieve the pro­cesses in­volved are fun­da­men­tally flawed, par­tic­u­larly in terms of con­sul­ta­tion and guide­lines pro­tect­ing the com­mu­nity.”

Neigh­bours of the pro­posed site on the cor­ner of Trafal­gar St and One­hunga Mall only learned about the plans af­ter a let­ter was de­liv­ered to a res­i­dent by mis­take.

Un­der the district plan the an­tenna did not re­quire a re­source con­sent or pub­lic no­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Neigh­bour Mike Silich also says he’s re­lieved but will con­tinue to push for a change of pol­icy on cell tow­ers.

“We’d like cen­tral and lo­cal gov­ern­ment to be a bit more con­ser­va­tive in their views, par­tic­u­larly when putting cell tow­ers next to res­i­den­tial homes, schools and hos­pi­tals,” he says.

He’s launched a web­site, www.re actnz.co.nz, to help com­mu­nity groups share in­for­ma­tion.

Tele­com spokes­woman Me­lanie Mar­shall says the an­tenna site was re­viewed as part of the roll­out of a new mo­bile net­work an­nounced last month.

“As a re­sult of that change of di­rec­tion we’ve had to look at the in­fra­struc­ture that sup­ports it,” she says.

“This site isn’t needed at the mo­ment, so we have no plans to carry on with the build at Trafal­gar St. We can’t pro­vide any firm com­mit­ment, but it’s not part of cur­rent plans.”

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