GOLDEN Plains Shire became the first council in the Ballarat region yesterday to reject an NBN Co telecommunications tower.
NBN Co’s application to build a tower at Napoleons for the delivery of wireless National Broadband Network services was refused by the council at its ordinary meting last night on the grounds it presented an unacceptable visual and amenity impact.
The decision was in line with the recommendation of the council’s planning committee.
Golden Plains mayor Geraldine Frantz said the proposal had failed to meet a code of practice principle around amenity impacts on neighbours and community.
Councillors voted unanimously to refuse the permit.
“It’s a 40 metre-high tower and there’s no screening currently,” Cr Frantz said.
“It would take a very long time for screening to grow.
“Council will be keen to explore with the company other site options.”
The development application included the construction of a monopole and antennas, equipment shelter, an access track and fencing on a vacant parcel of land on the south-eastern side of the Colac-Ballarat Road, south of the Napoleons township.
Objector Natalie Squire, who spoke at the council meeting, told the
“What came out of the meeting is that it’s not appropriate in a rural landscape ... without giving it lots of consideration and communication,” she said.
“I want to enjoy the environment and I want to enjoy the livability of a lifestyle property.
“I’m not saying don’t build towers. Work with communities and not against them.”
A Crown Castle application for a telecommunications tower at Buninyong was knocked back by Ballarat City Council last month, however last night’s decision was the first denial of an NBN Co permit.
The Ballarat region is one of the first sites for NBN towers under the scheme’s rollout.
There have been nine NBN tower proposals within the Golden Plains Shire and five planning permits issued to date for towers in Haddon, Haddon West, Enfield, Smythes Creek and Cape Clear.