Wednesday, April 29, 2009

telephone tower for seville?

report from the roundtable - 28th April
Report from the roundtable is my regular report back from the meeting of council. I don't report on every subject, just those that I think might have a broader interest.

An application for the construction of a telecommunications tower was up for consideration in a very prominent location in Seville. A motion was moved to refuse the application and I was happy to second it.

The proposed positioning of the tower was in a visually prominent site along the Warburton Highway. It is an area that is frequented by tourists who enjoy magnificent unbroken views across to the Warburton Ranges on one side and the Dandenong Ranges on the other. I think that council has a responsibility to protect Yarra Ranges' natural assets and part of that is protecting our outstanding vistas and sight lines.

The siting of the pole was proposed for a hill top meaning it would be visible to passers by near and far. A 33.6 metre pole is extreme in height and the notion of painting it in a pale eucalyptus colour to disguise it is an absolute nonsense.

The installation of the pole is contrary to council's local policy on telecommunications facilities. Our policy is clear and states that poles must be sited 100 metres from a residential building (or community facility such as a primary school, etc). In this case the pole was located 88 metres from the nearest residential dwelling.

I think it is important to respect the wishes of the local community, there were 39 objectors to this application, all of them surrounding the proposed site.

I also think it is important to protect those spectacular vistas the Shire is renowned for and this proposed 33.6 metre pole would be a blight on our landscape.

I am pleased to say that the refusal was supported unanimously by councillors.

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