Lonsdale Reserve the wrong site for tower, say critics

A mobile tower similar to the one planned for Mulwala's Lonsdale Reserve.

A mobile tower similar to the one planned for Mulwala's Lonsdale Reserve.

TELSTRA has approval to build a 25-metre communications tower near a playground and netball and tennis courts at Mulwala’s Lonsdale Reserve.

The tower, ticked off by the Corowa Council, will be 10 metres taller than the light pole it will replace near the courts in the southern corner of the public reserve.

Existing lighting will be switched to the replacement tower which will have six antennas in its triangular headframe.

The council approved the tower, subject to eight conditions.

These included all external materials — antennas and equipment shelter — be non-reflective and painted in muted colours.

The plan has been criticised by residents, some who live within 20 metres of the tower site.

They argued there were more suitable sites such as the town’s industrial estate and tip or Factory Hill near the water plant.

One objector said the tower would be built opposite their Hume Street driveway.

“The most important consideration for me would be the close proximity to the children’s playground and the sporting grounds of Lonsdale Reserve,” the resident said.

“It seems ludicrous this location would even be considered when there are many more options with far less impact on the community.”

The council, with a committee of management, manages Lonsdale Reserve which is Crown land.

The council had the development application independently assessed by town planning consultants, Habitat Planning.

Habitat’s report concluded in part: “The facility will improve local mobile phone coverage and data transfer services and therefore benefit the community.

“There is no definitive evidence that emissions from telecommunications towers pose an adverse health risk to the community.

“Other vertical elements in the vicinity include light poles within the reserve up to 18 metres high, fencing around the tennis courts and mature trees up to 10 metres high.”