CITY of Armadale has approved the installation of a 23.9m telecommunications tower at the Harrisdale Shopping Centre.
The application was made on behalf of Telstra and requested a tower and equipment shelter be installed at the shopping centre to the west of Aldi and north of the loading bay entrance in a bid to improve reception and services in Harrisdale and Piara Waters.
Armadale’s council meeting agenda said Piara Waters Oval, Sheaf Park, Marseille Park, Burtonia Park, Jim and Alma Baker Park and Heronwood Reserve had all been discussed as potential locations, but Armadale chief executive Ray Tame said the loss of public open space meant they weren’t believed to be as good a location as the shopping centre.
“There are enough encroachments diminishing the public open space available for enjoyment by the public without allocating to commercial uses such as this,” he said.
“The public would quickly respond if we approved a tower in such a location.
“It is far preferable for a utility structure such as this to be associated with commercial structures, set back from the street frontage.”
While more than 100 notices were sent to nearby residents, the City said just four public submissions were received, three against and one supporting the tower.
Telstra area general manager Boyd Brown said customers in Piara Waters and Harrisdale were currently relying on mobile base stations in Jandakot, Canning Vale, Southern River and Forrestdale, and this distance contributed to weaker mobile signals and slower data transfer.
He said the tower would improve 3G and 4G services and give residents good, reliable call quality.
“The area has seen increased customer demand on the mobile network and, due to the nature of mobile technology, customers located further away from the base station can experience slower data speeds and reduced connectivity when a site reaches its capacity,” he said.
“The proposed new base stationwould provide improved in-building coverage and significant improvements in data and network accessibility.”
Mr Brown said during the community consultation phase Telstra had received positive feedback from approximately 140 residents and objections from three.