Telstra given go-ahead for tower

TELSTRA will finally have its phone tower in Yamba after a three-year telecommunication tussle.

Despite Clarence Valley Council refusing a development application, which was lodged in September 2009, for a 20m monopole on land at Treelands Dr in December 2010 that decision was overturned by the NSW Land and Environment Court.

Council refused the development because of the potential negative visual impact it would have on the streetscape and locality, arguing it was not fitting with the "business zoning" in the Maclean Local Environmental Plan 2001.

It said the height and scale of the development is excessive in the location and inconsistent with established heights, streetscape and development plan in Treelands Dr.

In August 2011 there was a review of the application and council once again maintained its refusal prompting Telstra to lodge an appeal with the NSW Land and Environment Court in December last year.

Handing down her findings in April, Commissioner Susan Dixon sided with the applicant's planner, who said he believed the development couldn't be defined as commercial premises because it was essential infrastructure necessary to meet the needs of the local area.

To meet its requirements the tower has to be taller than existing buildings and tree canopy.

"He (the planner) is of the opinion that the proposed telecommunication facility will have a neutral effect on the appearance of the commercial and retail areas because it will be read as part of the existing infrastructure corridor of electricity poles and streetlights," Commissioner Dixon said.

"Based on that evidence, I am satisfied that the development is well designed and will have a neutral impact on the appearance of the commercial and retail area."

A report on the findings has been prepared for councillors and will be ratified at next week's ordinary meeting.

Topics:  communications, phone, telstra, tower, yamba



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