Mobile phone tower bid rejected

City administration recommended planning approval for a 20m-high mobile phone tower on Lot 83 Winton Road, however councillors voted against the proposal at the August 20 meeting ” eight votes to four.

Cr Tom McLean’s alternative recommendation to refuse the application was passed nine to three. During public question time, members of the community advised councillors some residents within the 400m consultation radius had not received the letter notifying them of the proposed installation.

Connolly resident Andrew Johnson also asked why, when the City’s policy was not to place telecommunication towers near schools, residential areas, hospitals or aged-care facilities, it was recommended the tower be installed within 500m of Connolly Primary School and Lake Joondalup Baptist College.

Mayor Troy Pickard reminded residents the City had a legal obligation to assess Telstra’s application and there was an existing tower already on the Winton Road site.

‘The city has a policy which provides guidance to the council on how we deal with the proposed installation of telecommunication facilities within the City of Joondalup,’ he said.

‘Wherever practicable, the City does not support the installation of telecommunication facilities unnecessarily close to schools, childcare establishments, hospitals and general residential areas. We use those generic words, then we assess on a case-by-case basis what we believe is in the best interests of the local community.’

Cr McLean said the City had been inundated with people objecting to the installation.

‘These messages are from the parents of children that attend the two schools in close proximity to the Winton Road tower and we have received objections from the schools themselves,’ he said.

Cr Kerry Hollywood agreed. ‘The long-term risk of health problems for the electromagnetic emissions from these towers is unknown and the council should err on the side of caution where children are concerned,’ she said.

Also speaking against were Crs Philippa Taylor and Brian Corr.

Cr Corr asked if there were any planning reasons councillors could refuse the application.

Planning and community development director Dale Page said there was not.