THE contentious NBN Tower proposed for North Batemans Bay was approved at Tuesday night’s council meeting, much to the dismay of residents.
Despite several North Batemans Bay residents speaking in opposition to the tower, the majority or councilors voted to give the development the green light.
Councilors Liz Innes and Milton Leslight voted against the development.
Cr Innes said she was not convinced that NBN was being 100 per cent honest.
“The can absolutely live without forcing this on a community that don’t want it,” she said.
“The community have told us again and again that they don’t want this.
“I abundantly believe that NBN co can come up with a better solution.
“I would ask all my fellow councilors to vote against this.”
Cr Leslight said the tower was offensive to his eye and he supported the resident’s view that it would spoil their visual amenity.
Cr Schwarz said he was torn on the decision he had to make but voted in support of the tower.
Five residents presented during a public forum at the meeting, all of them spoke against the tower.
Peter Whipps said the impact of the tower from his driveway was “massive”.
“This ugly steel tower cannot be considered progress,” he said.
“It will seriously affect my property.
“Once it is up, we are stuck with it forever.”
Kristen Andrew said she felt that consultation was a “very generous” word to describe what had taken place regarding the NBN tower.
“This should only be about the impact on North Batemans Bay residents,” she said.
“This tower will create inequity when over the hill there will be fibre optic cable.
“Let us fight for equitable services.”
Mary Randal said residents did not want or need the tower.
“An enhanced service would be fibre optic, not fixed wireless,” she said.
“Fibre is the futre.
“Fixed wireless will not provide a significant advantage.”
Richard Wadani was disappointed with the developers conduct.
“The service it provides does not justify the negative impact on our community,” he said.
This comes after the decision was deferred on October 28 to allow the applicant to provide additional information in regards to the impact of the visual amenity.
The NBN Telecommunications Monopole will be located in the Benandarah State Forest and will stand 40 metres high, 20 metres above surrounding trees and into resident’s line of sight.
The closest residential dwelling from the site is located 300 metres to the south west, although it is 150 metres from a residential property boundary.
The recommendation on the report before council, put forward by director of planning Lindsay Usher, was to approve the development application.
The applicant advised council that NBN Co have not planned for a fibre or satellite service to this area to improve broadband speed.
During the community consultation process, 16 submissions were received objecting the proposal.
The main concerns of residents nearby the site listed in the submissions were the impact it will have on their visual amenity, the distance of the tower to dwellings, loss of property value, noise and dust from unsealed roads to service the tower and lack of public consultation.
As the public left the chamber, they shouted “shame on you” to the councilors who supported the motion.