Tower dilemma

AN 18-metre phone tower proposed for Woodman Point has locals vexed over whether to accept having their ocean views marred in return for better mobile coverage.

The mobile network experts at Service Stream, which has 6000 sites around Australia, want to put a tower next to the Coogee Beach Surf Lifesaving Club. It would have three panel antennas, lights and CCTV camera, amplifiers and boxes for equipment at the base.

When Cockburn council advertised the plan to 415 nearby residents in Coogee, the issue neatly split the suburb.

Many enthused about the possibility the area’s notoriously patchy mobile phone coverage would improve, while others were aghast at having a big pole sticking above the mostly bushland area.

Although the council doesn’t have authority to approve the tower, staff have recommended the WAPC be told to approve the tower.

“The proposal would be visible from most properties throughout the local area,” a council report stated.

“The scale of the development would result in the views from the surrounding parks and recreation area to be impacted by the telecommunications infrastructure that protrudes well above trees and other structures in the area.

“Notwithstanding above, the proposal will not completely obstruct any view enjoyed by residents or the community.”

The development would also involve removing a small amount of native vegetation to create a 22sqm leased area.

Some residents complained about potential health risks, but the council said it couldn’t take those into account when making its decision.

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