Phone tower approved: striking the right balance

Tuesday 26 September 2017, 11:27 AM

Pyrenees Shire Council has voted to approve a telecommunications tower in Beaufort with conditions requiring landscaping around the site.

Council voted at the September meeting to issue a permit for a tower to be constructed by Optus in Leichardt Street, Beaufort, behind the St John the Baptist Catholic Church.

The decision was made after Council considered detailed analysis of a range of planning issues and community submissions both supporting and objecting to the proposal.

As part of its decision, Council considered whether the proposal struck an appropriate balance between providing important improvements to telecommunication services, preserving landscape character and respecting health and amenity.

Some of the planning considerations for the tower were:

  • Whether the development site was appropriate.
  • Whether the development had been designed and sited to minimise visual impact
  • Whether the facility met national standards for electromagnetic radiation emissions, as also required in the Pyrenees Planning Scheme.
  • Whether the overall impact of the development on the Beaufort community was reasonable.

Council’s assessment of the application came after a mediation session in June, which led to the applicant lowering the height of the tower by 10 metres and substantially reducing onsite infrastructure.

Council also invited objectors to present to Council on their submissions at a hearing in September.

Mayor Ron Eason said he appreciated the amount of interest the proposal generated in the community.

“We were aware that a number of community members provided a response to the proposal, and we would like to thank them for their time in putting their views forward,” Mayor Eason said.

“Council was required to assess the proposal before it on this particular site and a lot of work has been done to develop conditions around landscaping and health monitoring,” he said.

Information supplied by the applicant confirmed the proposed telecommunications tower would emit a maximum of 0.41% of nationally recognised safe levels for Electro-magnetic Radiation.

Council’s decision may be appealed at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal by the applicant or objectors.

We acknowledge the people past and present of the Wadawurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, and Djab Wurrung tribes, whose land forms the Pyrenees Shire. We pay our respect to the customs, traditions and stewardship of the land by the elders and people of these tribes.

Page last updated: 11:27 AM, 26 September 2017
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