Comms station still up in air

2015-09-01 06:00

An application to erect a telecommunication base station in Lansdowne was brought to the Athlone subcouncil on Thursday.

However, the application was sent back to the applicant because the paperwork had been sent to the incorrect civic organisation in Lansdowne.

Ward councillor Anthea Green requested that the item be held back because the paperwork was not in order.

“The boundaries for the civic organisation in ward 60 were not updated and this has resulted in confusion previously. We need this paperwork to be reviewed by the correct civic organisation or I will come under fire for this,” Green explained at the meeting.

The subcouncil accepted that the item would be heard at a later subcouncil meeting after the correct civic organisation was approached.

It is proposed that the base station be erected on erf 58753, next to the railway station.

The applicant says the infrastructure is to “improve the current communications system used to control trains”.

“Due to passing of time and technological advances, the current system is in need of upgrading and to ensure that future expansion is catered for. Railway lines and precincts in urban environments are generally cluttered with tall structures supporting power lines, lighting and other related infrastructure,” the motivation states.

The applicant says in light of this the placing of a tall structure will have a “lesser impact than it may have in any other environment that does not have the same element of taller structure clutter”.

The applicant says it took into consideration the “growing concern” related to health risks associated with cellular and other types of communications infrastructure.

“Current scientific research is yet to produce conclusive evidence suggesting adverse health effects associated with, working with or living close to cellular and other communication technology,” the motivation continues.

The application adds that the radio waves transmitted by the tower are not high enough to be considered a health risk.

The application was met with at least one objection after going through a round of public participation.

Resident Jason Harneker says he objected to the base station “due to the fact of ongoing health concerns and various media and medical reports around these communication towers”.

“There has been no conclusive evidence that these do not cause any health risk factors,” Harneker says.

He argues that the tower may impact on market interest if he sells his property.

“These towers are often an eyesore and based on the proposed plans the height of the tower cannot be missed, standing at 25m high.”

The application will be heard by the subcouncil again after it is taken to a civic organisation.

No decision was made by the subcouncil to either support or decline the application

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