A BID to relocate and expand a phone tower among residential properties in central Ballarat has the support of City of Ballarat officers.
Ballarat City councillors will tonight consider a planning application by Crown Castle Australia to install a 50-metre telecommunications tower at 4a Holmes Street.
The officer recommendation supports the application, subject to conditions, despite six public objections.
The council wrote to residents within 250 metres of the site in July.
At the time, Kelly Orsini, who lived at 4 Holmes Street – directly next door – told The Courier she feared for her two-year-old daughter’s health.
A mediation meeting in August between representatives of Crown Castle, objectors and council planning officers did not result in any compromises to the proposal.
Crown Castle customers include Optus, Telstra and Vodafone and the National Broadband Network. A tower currently sits in Trench Street, only 55 metres behind the proposed site. The lease on the current site expires next year.
“The existing equipment accommodated on the Trench Street tower and existing services it provides need to be replaced to ensure consumer demand continues to be met,” the Crown Castle application said.
A report by council officers emphasised the existing facility only 55 metres to the north, describing it as “an important consideration in terms of visual impact”.
Dwellings were also not envisaged as “being the long-term future use and development” of the properties in the Commercial 1 zoned area.
“This does not mean amenity expectations should be entirely denuded. But they must be tempered,” officers said.
Crown Castle would have to ensure any equipment satisfied Radiation Protection Standard requirements.