BANJUP residents have had a win after City of Cockburn councillors passed through unchallenged a motion to reject planning approval for a new Vodafone telecommunications tower in the suburb.
Vodafone had sought to install a 37m-high tower and equipment shelter at the back of a property on Harper road to meet customer demand in Banjup and surrounding suburbs.
In a deputation on Thursday night, representatives for Aurecon Australasia – on behalf of the telecommunications giant – argued the proposed site was suitable because it was not imposing on any significant views or heritage sites and there were no opportunities, as there are in business districts, to mount antennas on elevated rooftops.
“The nature of the technology is such that monopoles cannot be completely screened from view as the antennas need to be elevated above the terrain and other obstructions such as vegetation,” a spokesman said.
“Should new facilities only be supported in industrial or remote areas, where no objections are received, there would simply be no effective telecommunications network in the metropolitan area.”
But councillors disagreed, voting through en bloc an officer’s recommendation calling for them not to support the proposal on the grounds the improved telecommunications service would come at a cost to visual amenity and detract from the rural character of the area.
About 85 per cent of people who responded during the community consultation process objected to the proposal.
Gutteridge Road local Jane Yovich was against the tower, which would have been built in the property adjacent to her family home.
“We’re very happy,” she said.
“It’s not appropriate and could have opened the floodgates for similar applications.”
It is the second phone tower application fought off by local residents this year, with Cockburn councillors also voting down an Optus proposal in February.