CLEAN UP: Resident John Grigsby says a 35 metre tower would be an improvement on a vandalised fence. Picture: Justin WhitelockRESIDENTS set to live in the shadowof a proposed35-metretelecommunicationstower in Sebastopol have given the proposalthe green light.
A home owner livingadjacent to the vacant site which has been earmarked for a Telstra telecommunications facilityon Spencer Street said he did not mind if the controversialtower was built, while another said it might actually improve the appearance of the street.
The City of Ballarat will consider a planning permit on Wednesdayfor the development of the facility which will include an equipment shelter, 2.4m high security fencing and the 35m tower with six antennas. Thecouncil report has recommended the development be approved.
The report said there were 11 objections to the notice of application, including a petition with 70 signatures, but those in the immediate areasaid they were less concerned.
John Grigsby, who has lived across the road from the proposed telecommunications centrefor nine years, said the existing site was a frequent target forvandals.
“I don’t mind (the 35m tower),” Mr Grigsby, 89, said. “It’s no worsethan looking at that bloody ugly fence.If they build it they might finally clean (the graffiti)up.”
The site is located in an industrial zone but is located oppositea residential area.
Another nearby resident who did not wish to named said many in the surrounding area were opposed to the tower but that didn’t include somewhose homes directly faced the site.
“We don’t care. It’s an eyesorenow,” the woman said. “It won’t look great but it might look better than it is now. It has always had graffiti and we’d hope for they’d do something about it.”
The woman said she understood some people in the area were concerned about radiation from the facility but her husband was not.
Other concerns mentioned in objections to the development included the contrast with the rest of the neighborhood, potential property devaluation, and that the tower will be visible from public parks.
The council report said there was a strategic justification for approving the facility, as part of a general upgrade of broadband telecommunications.
Telstra has declared in its proposal the highest level of electromagnetic radiation from the facility will be 0.55 per cent of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency standard.
According to the council report, while there is information both positive and negative with regard to potential health issues caused by telecommunication towers, cases before VCAT involving the potential healthside effects have been consistently dismissed.
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