City of Wanneroo revises telecommunications infrastructure policy


The City of Wanneroo did site inspections of existing telecommunications infrastructure, including this lattice tower on Wanneroo Road, to guide policy changes.
The City of Wanneroo did site inspections of existing telecommunications infrastructure, including this lattice tower on Wanneroo Road, to guide policy changes.

CITY of Wanneroo has revised its telecommunications infrastructure policy, replacing the 2013 version with one that requires smaller consultation areas.

The draft policy attracted three submissions during public consultation late last year, from VisionStream, Telstra and Planning Solutions on behalf of the Mobile Carriers Forum.

The Telstra submission said the policy was “overly prescriptive” and should “encourage innovation” in infrastructure design and location.

“Objective one should also specifically reference comprehensive and reliable coverage particularly in bushfire-prone areas or other locations where communications for emergency response are essential,” it said.

As a result of submissions and site inspections of existing infrastructure in Wanneroo and Darch, the administration adjusted the consultation radius for different types of structures.

“Administration considered that a 500m consultation radius was appropriate for lattice towers,” the August council report said.

“Lattice towers impose a greater visual impact compared to other forms of telecommunications infrastructure in terms of their bulk and scale.

“However, administration also considered following those inspections that the consultation radius of 500m was excessive for other telecommunications infrastructure proposals, such as monopoles, based on their lesser visual impact.”

The council endorsed the change to require a 500m radius for lattice towers and 200m for other types of infrastructure.

It also agreed to remove a 75m offset provision in residential, mixed use, special rural, rural community, landscape enhancement and special residential zones, and replace it with a requirement to consult.

The City added a provision to consider telecommunications infrastructure in preparation of structure plans.

“Conflicts could be minimised if telecommunications infrastructure sites were identified early in the planning process,” the report said.

“The City should give consideration to demand and/or future need for telecommunications services in its preparation and assessment of structure planning proposals.”

The Telstra submission said in the provider’s experience, land developers had not readily considered wireless and mobile phone communication system requirements.

“As a result, servicing after land has been developed often causes conflict and deployment delays,” it said.

Other modifications related to looser requirements for mapping and elevation plans, plus not requiring structures to be painted or to have co-location of at least two carriers.

The Mobile Carriers Forum supported the City’s intent to “provide clear guidance to applicants, stakeholders and decision-makers”.