VODAFONE has withdrawn plans to erect a mobile phone tower on a controversial block of land at Creswick.
The tower was approved by Hepburn Shire Council last year, but a group of Creswick residents had sought to overturn the decision in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
Just days before the VCAT hearing, which was scheduled for tomorrow, Vodafone announced it would no longer go ahead with the tower.
Vodafone corporate affairs consultant Carolyn Swindell said Vodafone was taking a different direction with its network rollout plans in Victoria.
“Since lodging the application, things have changed for us in the business,” she said.
“As far as the focus of the network rollout, our priorities are elsewhere in Victoria.”
Hepburn Shire Creswick Ward councillor Don Henderson said the council’s approval of the development last year was subject to a number of environmental conditions.
He said the council had received a notice a week ago of Vodafone’s decision to withdraw from the site.
The tower was due to be built on a block of land in Anne Street, next door to a child care centre and with a history of controversial development proposals.
In 2010, VCAT criticised Hepburn Shire Council and knocked back an application it had approved to erect a truck wash on the land.
In 2011, shocked parents only learnt of the Vodafone planning application after Creswick Children’s Services proprietor Emily Chatham spotted a crane-style truck doing testing on the Anne Street site.
They were later reassured that the tower would be erected at the back of the block, away frrom the child care centre.