A CONTROVERSIAL project to put an NBN wireless broadband tower at Bushfield Recreation Reserve has been approved by Warrnambool City Council, on condition it be moved away from the main entrance.
The 30-metre monopole, to hold three antennas, will have to be erected in the north-east corner of the reserve.
There were 19 official objections and a petition bearing 115 signatures presented to council by local residents concerned about health and safety issues, tower height, property devaluation and proximity to houses.
Mayor Michael Neoh successfully changed recommendations by council’s planning department with a compromise that the proposed facility be moved to a less-prominent position in the township’s reserve.
“I and councillors Gaston and Askew had an on-site meeting with residents and one of the clear concerns was about the tower at the entry area near netball courts and a playground,” Cr Neoh said.
“I believe the community would support it being on the other side of the ground.”
Cr Rob Askew said the tower would also have fencing and a control building, which would be unsuitable at the reserve’s entrance.
However, councillors Peter Hulin and Peter Sycopoulis argued the tower should be in another location well away from the reserve and housing.
They said there would still be concerns about health and visual amenity.
“I believe it’s short-sighted to put a tower in that area,” Cr Hulin said.
The decision to grant an amended permit with a long list of conditions was approved 3-2, with Cr Brian Kelson removing himself from the debate after declaring an interest.