Plans to build a 35-metre telecommunications tower in South Gisborne have been rejected by Macedon Ranges council, against the advice of council officers.
The council heard 10 objections to the proposed facility from residents at a passionate council meeting on February 28.
The proposed monopole and related equipment, which would have serviced the Optus network, were planned to be constructed at 479 Couangalt Road, Gisborne, set back 10.2 metres from the road.
Objectors told the council more than 10 houses were located within half a kilometre of the proposed tower, with even more homes and business to be adversely affected by the visual “eyesore”.
Two local tourism-related businesses said the tower would detract from the rural feel that appealed to South Gisborne visitors.
All objectors told the council that they, and their various small businesses, did not experience any difficulty with service connectivity.
Speaking on behalf of Optus and the project partners, Matt Evans said the proposal was responding to “a solid level of community demand” for improved coverage in the region.
Council officers supported the application, saying it met the requirements and that these types of facilities always faced objection.
But the council voted against the proposal, with councillors saying they wanted further proof of the tower’s benefits.
Mr Evans told the council the issue of telecommunications towers in the area would not go away anytime soon.
“There are going to be more towers in the Macedon Ranges,” he said.