MOVES to build an NBN telecommunications tower at Bushfield Recreation Reserve have been put on hold pending an appeal by four residents against Warrnambool City Council’s approval.
The challenge will be heard by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) early next year.
Melbourne-based town planning consultant Stephen O’Brien has been engaged by the residents to push for another site.
“It’s not about stopping Bushfield from getting an NBN tower — residents would welcome faster broadband, but it’s the location,” he said.
“We don’t think that co-location options have been adequately explored. This equipment could be put on any other tower in the area and would have given them the service.
“Hopefully we can solve this issue through mediation.”
The council resolved on September 30 to issue a notice of decision to grant a planning permit for a 30-metre high monopole to hold three antennas plus associated equipment in the north-east corner of the reserve.
This came after 19 objections and a petition of 115 signatures complaining mainly about health and safety issues, tower height, property devaluation and proximity to houses.
Mr O’Brien said he had appeared in previous cases where he represented NBN in fighting appeals.
“I will be arguing for the residents that the tower could be sited at better locations,” he said.