A development application for a telecommunications tower at Youngtown Memorial Park was approved by the City of Launceston at its Monday meeting.
A petition was put to the council in an effort to prevent the construction of the 25 metre high Vodaphone facility at the sports ground and community members who live in the surrounding area addressed the council with their concerns over health, amenity and consultation.
Medina Street resident Pamela Skeggs told the Aldermen the proposal was too close to existing driveways and the parking would prevent vehicle movements.
“The tower is located opposite the grandstand and highly visible from participants at any point of the stadium,” she said.
“It’s a great distress to me to find that something like this [could be built].”
Mrs Skeggs said young families lived in the vicinity and hundreds of young people and adults used the ground for sport and recreation.
Ald Janie Finlay said the council had to consider the development application as a planning authority and had a tight framework under which the project must be assessed.
Under the amenity clause of the planning scheme the development met all the criteria despite the community sentiments, she said.
While responding to questions from the Aldermen general manager Robert Dobrzynski said the issue of telecommunications towers had been discussed by the Australian Local Government Association.
He said the approval to submit a DA on council-owned land was no indication that a lease would later be approved.
“As the general manager has quite clearly indicated there will be a future item before council, as to whether we should lease that land, and it is then, as Aldermen that we have a responsibility to represent the wider interests of the community,” said Ald Finlay.
Deputy Mayor Rob Soward said under the telecommunication act, which is tied to planning decisions, it had been deemed that there was no health risk to living under a tower.
“There isn’t any argument that we can have from a planning point of view,” he said.
“My concern with us knocking this back is that there is signifcant precedent in regards to other mobile towers which have been set up in and around Launceston and around the country in similar residential areas.
“It would be a $30,000 to $40,000 expense to go to any appeal, which is likely to happen, and from the precedent the reality is we would not win that.”