New tower proposal causes concern
A second attempt to find a suitable location for a new police radio telecommunications tower has caused public concern. Residents of Rose Road at Tuntable Creek were approached by police officers last week with a proposal to erect in their neighbourhood a 20 metre concrete pole with a three metre whip aerial on top.
Danny McLaren, a resident of Rose Road said, the proposed location was next to residential houses, one of which already has two ariels on the roof for the Rural Fire Service and the Ambulance Service.
“The plans also include building a concrete compound with an equipment shelter,” M McLaren said. “This will directly impact on our community. It is only 20 metres away from either house and near the school bus stop.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to so far is opposed to it. We object to having it located here and the whole street has already signed a petition.”
Mr McLaren said the location is a popular sightseeing spot for local bushwalkers who often stop to look at the view of the Nightcap Range and The Channon.
“The tower will be an unsightly monstrosity and have a huge visual impact,” he said. “We are on the crown of the ridge here– It’s the only open space. It will ruin the whole ambience of the street and diminish the entire view.”
The proposed tower, which will address black spots in police communications, was removed from its first location due to its negative impact on the visual amenity of Nimbin village and the views of Nimbin Rocks.
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said, unlike last year when a 36 metre tower was constructed near Nimbin Police Station without proper process, this time the police were following proper procedures and had submitted maps and plans of the proposed tower prior to its construction.
“When the superintendent in charge of police telecommunications contacted Council and told us he had found a location on private land on Rose Road, I told him that the community would have concerns,” Ms Dowell said. “The proposal this time was for a smaller tower and they sent maps and a letter to residents with a 21-day response period.”
Ms Dowell said that when two police representatives met with the immediate neighbours last Friday, the residents pointed out an alternate site on property below the crest of the hill some distance from the original site. The police commissioner has since agreed to go with the alternate site and will send an amended proposal to council and residents.
Mr McLaren said that the proposed alternate location was still in the same paddock and although it was marginally better, it was still near residences and not a suitable location.
“It will still dominate the entire ridge and if they move it down the hill, they will probably have to build it higher,” he said. “I would rather they find a more appropriate, less residential location. From what we can see, they have a list of sites. They are also looking at the other side of Blue Knob and Kyogle. If they have the whole valley to choose from, why put it in a residential area 20m from people’s houses?”