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Call To Review Cell Tower Standards

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Call To Review Cell Tower Standards

Manukau City Council is calling on the government to review the standards for cell towers following community concern about sites in residential areas.

The council will advocate for a review of the National Environmental Standards, which allow telecommunications companies to install 'low impact' antennae (masts) and service cabinets on public roadsides without applying for resource consent.

It will ask for improvements to the level of community consultation around cell tower sites and for consideration of prohibiting sites closes to homes, schools and childcare centres.

The council last night approved five of the eight sites telecommunications company 2Degrees wanted for cell towers. Two sites will be subject to approval of a resource consent. The council declined approval for three site licences close to residential properties.

A working party of councillors has also been set up to consider the most appropriate location for in the vicinity of the three declined sites at 145 Clovelly Road, 25 Pigeon Mountain Road and Litten Road. The working party will also develop new guidelines for siting of telecommunications infrastructure in Manukau.

Manukau Mayor Len Brown says the council acknowledges that the people living in properties that have cell sites proposed outside them have concerns about the impact of the towers.

"We have worked hard to find locations that have the least possible impact on people in their homes. This decision will upset some people but effectively the government standards allow the equipment to be put in road reserves almost as of right.

"The council has to follow the government legislation on this, we're not in a position to just ban cell towers from Manukau. We also have to balance the needs of the business community to be treated fairly through the process and come to a decision on sites.

"The government's National Environmental Standards and the World Health Organisation say there is no significant public health risk. If there was I would be at the front of the line saying no.

"But the council will be asking the government to consider community concerns about cell towers and review its standards," Mr Brown says.

The council has already asked telecommunications companies to make sure it has a good level of community consultation when selecting cell sites. It also eased restrictions on telecommunication equipment so that they can be installed along main roads and outside reserves.

The network site licences approved were outside 7 Picton Street Howick, outside 490 Porchester Rd Takanini East, outside 739 Chapel Rd Shamrock Park, on the corner of Dawson Rd and Te Irirangi Drive and outside 106 Botany Rd.

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