Byron Shire Council staff have recommended that a controversial application from Telstra to build a 4G mobile phone tower on Wilsons Creek Road be refused.
Wilsons Creek residents have been running a strong campaign against the tower, including launching a nationwide class action against Telstra, citing safety issues around electromagnetic radiation (EMR).
The DA proposed a mobile phone telecommunications facility including a 35-metre-high monopole, six antennae and ancillary equipment.
In making its recommendation, Byron Council staff took into account the potential impact of EMR on wildlife as well as its planned location in an area of high biodiversity.
‘The proposal raised a significant level of objection from the community in terms of siting, environmental impacts, health and amenity impacts, electro magnetic radiation, visual impacts, proximity to power lines and surrounding residential properties,’ staff wrote in their recommendation.
‘It is considered that the development does not meet Council’s planning controls or standards, having regards to the height provisions within Byron LEP 1988, and the objectives of the 7(c) Water Catchment Zone. Further having regards to the number of objections it is considered the proposed telecommunications tower is not in the public interest.’
Byron councillors will make the final decision at their meeting on Thursday (September 20).
Members of the group Environment and Community Safe from Radiation will address councillors during public access.
But they still have a plan to continue with the court case if the decision goes against them.
The group told its supporters in a recent email that ‘in the unlikely event the councillors approve the tower DA we ask that you please forward a copy of all correspondence between you and the council, state or federal governments, Service Stream or Telstra in order for our barrister to commence legal action’.