Council considers controversial tower

THE Clarence Valley Council has received 17 submissions and a petition containing 346 signatures opposing a development the proponents claim would have limited visual impact.

The council will today consider a development application from Optus for a 30-metre telecommunication tower near Brooms Head on council owned land adjacent to a cleared block housing a water reservoir.

In its submission to council, Optus provided photomontages of the proposed facility that, according to council documents, 'demonstrate that the view of the facility would be 'distance view' as it is well removed from Brooms Head Road and is surrounded by mature vegetation'.

Optus says no further clearing is proposed and has offered to paint the head and tower in an 'appropriate colour' and use non-reflective paint to assist in mitigating any visual impact.

Council staff has recommended approval of the proposal but last week the council's environment, economic and community committee recommended against approval.

It said the application should be refused because of the proximity of a residence, unsatisfactory access and because there were possible alternative sites including Clarence Peak, the old dump site and others along Brooms Head Road.

Objectors have raised concerns about the health effects of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) coming from the tower, but council staff say these would be well below recommended levels. They have also raised concerns about noise and other issues.

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