Residents reject cell tower

2016-11-29 06:00

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“FOREST Hills does not need another cell tower - we have enough coverage already.”

This was the overwhelming sentiment on Saturday 26 November when residents against the erection of the tower protested peacefully along Forest­ Drive.
They said news of the tower proposal caught them by surprise last month (10 November), when they received a letter in the post stating that a nine-storey­ cellular tower was to be built at Sherwood Drive and they had 30 days to log objections, if any.

However, residents feel that the tower not only poses health concerns, it will devalue properties as well as being an eye sore. Residents also claim that 30 days is not enough time to place proper objections on record.

They claim that many residents have chosen to live in peaceful Forest Hills specifically to escape the urban reality that a huge cell phone mast in the middle of the village will represent.

They have expressed strong concern for the damaging health effects that will be caused by cell tower radiation. Residents said the health effects will discourage people from buying in the area and dramatically lower the value of houses there. Lionel Bousfield, a concerned resident, said: "Forest Hills is next to the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve. There is strong concern among the residents and patrons of the reserve that the erection of a 30- metre high cellphone tower will have a disastrous effect on the wildlife.

"As far as we are aware no environmental study has yet been done to determine the effect that the cellphone tower will have on the many protected species in the reserve.

"The village of Forest Hills is an extremely picturesque suburb with stunning views of Krantzkloof Nature Reserve down into the Molweni valley.

“A 30-metre cellphone tower will be impossible to disguise and will permanently break the skyline destroying the central nature of this wonderful community."

Renate Grobler, who recently sold her property at 36 Sherwood Drive, said she is stuck between a rock and a hard place as the buyers now refuse to purchase the property.

"The sale is not yet registered. Now, with the reception of the project to build a 30m high communication tower­ right next door, the buyer wants to pull out of the sale.

"My property loses its value because of this threatening construction. I strongly object to the erection of such a tower next to my property.”

She also said the generators will be a noise nuisance.

Residents say that Forest Hills 1 is no place for a tower and they object to it. Attempts to contact the company named in the letter have, at the time of going to press, been unsuccessful.

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