A PROPOSED Optus phone tower in Greenwood has been given the go-ahead.
Joondalup councillors at last month’s meeting unanimously approved a development application for the 27.73m high monopole and associated ground equipment at 3 Canham Way.
It is proposed the tower be installed 2.5m in front of the on-site building, which includes a veterinary clinic and showrooms, but with landscaping to screen the equipment at ground level.
A council document said the tower was to “accommodate upgrades to infrastructure that was recently removed from the existing radio tower at 6 Canham Way”.
This is because the radio tower was “structurally overstressed for the existing loading conditions” so any further upgrades were not viable.
“There is a need to reinstate the lost network and provide coverage service to existing and future residents, businesses and industry within the Greenwood area to improve mobile telephone network coverage in the locality,” it said.
The proposal was advertised to surrounding landowners and residents within 400m of the site, with 12 submissions received including seven objections.
Concerns raised included the infrastructure not being necessary, being inconsistent with the character of the area, having a negative visual impact and health and safety concerns.
However, City officers recommended the application be conditionally approved, stating the tower would not be “visually obtrusive to residential properties” because the nearest street was 130m away and there were other telecommunication facilities and light poles in the area.
The applicant also provided an electromagnetic emissions report confirming the tower would be compliant with federal legislation that minimises health risks.
At the council briefing, Cr Tom McLean asked if the tower would be for 4G or 5G technology.
“It is not for 5G as far as I’m aware,” Joondalup planning and community development director Dale Page said.
Cr McLean then asked if the tower was to be upgraded to 5G, would it come before the council.
Ms Page said if the upgrade was attached to existing infrastructure and did not increase its height or change the structure, then it would not.
In moving to approve the application, Cr John Logan said there was a “great deal of coverage lacking in Greenwood” with some residents and businesses even having to leave the area, while Cr John Chester said it was an “ideal site” and he hoped the tower would “solve some of the problematic coverage”.
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