A mixed reception on tower compromise

A DECISION to approve the erection of an NBN telecommunications tower near Yarram has been met with a mixed reception.

While one owner of a nearby property “reluctantly accepted” the compromises to the initial proposal, another remained opposed.

Wellington Shire Council voted to issue a planning permit to erect a monotower on a property on Parrots Rd, after National Broadband Network contractor Visionsteam agreed to reduce the height of it from 40 metres to 35, move it 40m to the east of the original position and paint it a pale green colour with vegetation planting around the site.

The original plan was to have a lattice tower.

Visionstream will have two years to complete the development.

The issue went before council last month but a decision was delayed to allow for alternative sites to be investigated, but it went back to council on Tuesday night after a compromise was reached.

Greg Aitken from Visionstream said the company had reviewed alternative options, such as the cemetery and tip, as directed by council.

“The preferred option is to continue to the current site at Parrots Rd,” he said.

“This is largely based on coverage and capacity reasons,” he said.

“We think that the site on Parrots Rd will provide a superior long term option and provide a greater level of coverage for properties out to the west.”

The site is on land adjacent to a zone identified for long term medium to low density residential development.

Owner of a property on nearby Buckleys Island Rd, Zoe Janssen said she did not believe Visionstream did much further analysis of the cemetery site.

However, she said she would reluctantly accept the compromise offered as it “might be a risk to go further.”

“We don’t want to lose some of the gains we have achieved.

“We are of the opinion that the further the tower is away from us the better, for a range of reasons.”

Ms Janssen acknowledged the work of council to reach a compromise.

“We’ve come quite a way from a 40m lattice tower to where we are now,” she said.

Another Buckleys Island Rd property owner, Alison McAlpine, hoped the owner of the Parrots Rd land would agree to moving the tower more than 40m.

“I want to make it known that I won’t be happy unless it does go a little bit further,” she said.

“Forty metres is not enough for me to settle on this matter.”

Although the outcome may not have resolved everyone’s issues, councillor Bob Wenger said the outcome was much better than the original plan.

The tower will become a hub for the delivery of fixed wireless broadband to Yarram’s surrounding districts.