‘Little Onehunga won’
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.”