Thursday, October 28, 2010

another inappropriate telstra tower

report from the roundtable - 26 oct

At this week's meeting council had to consider an application by Telstra for a telecommunications tower on the prominent site of Milners Hill in Yarra Junction. The tower, some 32.59 metres in height would stand 12.59 metres above the tree canopy.

The proposed tower was located in a site covered by an Environmental Significance Overlay which indicates the site has both botanical and zoological significance. It was my view that land with such significance should remain undisturbed to ensure that its status is retained and it continues to provide important core habitat for the region.

The site also was subject to a Significant Landscape Overlay due to its importance in framing the landscape which so defines the Upper Yarra corridor (or the Little Yarra Valley).

There is no doubting that Milners Hill provides a stunning backdrop to the town of Yarra Junction, it is very prominent and the proposed communications tower would be too greater visual impact on the region and a blight on the landscape.

We have seen many applications come before us by Telstra for towers that have been too prominent on the ridgelines, in which council has refused and VCAT upheld. We know that impact on landscape and visual amenity impacts are skey considerations and it seems Telstra don't want to heed this.

I think if Telstra want to provide services they need to be innovative in their approach and come at the issues with new thinking.

Councillors unanimously supported the refusal of the installation of the telecommunications tower.

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