Voda­fone tower re­jected

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

BANJUP res­i­dents have had a win af­ter City of Cock­burn coun­cil­lors passed un­chal­lenged a mo­tion to re­ject plan­ning ap­proval for a new Voda­fone telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions tower in the sub­urb.

Voda­fone had wanted to erect a 37m-high tower and equip­ment shel­ter at the back of a prop­erty on Harper Road to meet cus­tomer de­mand in Banjup and sur­round­ing sub­urbs.

In a dep­u­ta­tion on Thurs­day night, rep­re­sen­ta­tives for Aure­con Aus­trala­sia – on be­half of Voda­fone – ar­gued that the pro­posed site was suit­able be­cause it did not im­pose on any sig­nif­i­cant views or her­itage sites and there were no op­por­tu­ni­ties, as there are in busi­ness dis­tricts, to mount an­ten­nas on el­e­vated rooftops.

“The na­ture of the tech­nol­ogy is such that mono­poles can­not be com­pletely screened from view as the an­ten­nas need to be el­e­vated above the ter­rain and other ob­struc­tions such as veg­e­ta­tion,” a spokesman said.

“Should new fa­cil­i­ties only be sup­ported in in­dus­trial or re­mote ar­eas, where no ob­jec­tions are re­ceived, there would sim­ply be no ef­fec­tive telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work in the metropoli­tan area.”

But coun­cil­lors dis­agreed, vot­ing through en bloc an of­fi­cer’s rec­om­men­da­tion call­ing for them not to sup­port the pro­posal on the grounds the im­proved telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vice would come at a cost to vis­ual amenity and de­tract from the ru­ral char­ac­ter of the area.

About 85 per cent of peo­ple who re­sponded dur­ing the com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion process ob­jected to the pro­posal.

Gut­teridge Road lo­cal Jane Yovich was against the tower, which would have been built in the prop­erty ad­ja­cent to her fam­ily home. “We’re very happy,” she said. “It’s not ap­pro­pri­ate and could have opened the flood­gates for sim­i­lar ap­pli­ca­tions.”

It is the sec­ond phone tower ap­pli­ca­tion fought off by lo­cal res­i­dents this year, with Cock­burn coun­cil­lors also vot­ing down an Op­tus pro­posal in Fe­bru­ary.

Banjup res­i­dent Jane Yovich said the tower would have been vis­i­ble from her back porch.

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