Tower ruling still in the air

FOR the second month in a row the Southern Downs Regional Council have voted to defer making a decision on the construction of a 40m NBN tower on Stabiles Rd at Glen Aplin.

Last month the decision was deferred after the councillors asked NBN Co to provide reasons on why alternative sites were rejected.

Despite receiving this information the councillors voted to once again defer the decision, this time asking the applicant to consider alternative options.

Cr Jo McNally was not in favour of a deferral saying they should not be looking for an easy way out.

"We have to make a decision," she said.

"If we are not here to make decisions what are we needed for.

"We can't just say it is too hard we will just let it go to court so someone else can decide.

"If there are those who want to refuse it has to be because there are planning reasons for it not to go ahead."

Director of planning and environment Ken Harris said the council could only make a decision on the application in front of them.

"The council's role is to determine applications on the site proposed. You can't tell them to use another location.

"If you are not satisfied with this site, you can stop it."

The application resulted in 12 submissions of objections based around amenity, co-location, the use of alternative sites, the impact on property values and public health.

All 12 objectors were present at the meeting on Wednesday.

Kym Rose was one of the residents at the meeting.

"Twelve Glen Aplin objectors had a reprieve (on Wednesday) at the Southern Downs Council general meeting," she said.

"The councillors voted to defer, for the second time, approving the monopole on Stabiles Road, Glen Aplin."

Ms Rose said Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley raised the most interesting points during the meeting.

"He said that the council needed to display consistency in their planning decisions with regards to NBN towers," she said. "He was referring to the recent decision by the council to approve the controversial 42m tower at Deuchar.

"The objections raised by the Deuchar residents were identical in theme to the objections from Glen Aplin.

"Like Glen Aplin, Deuchar is home to over 70 familles, many who live in the area for lifestyle reasons.

"The courtesy and consideration shown to Glen Aplin objectors from the council was not given to Deuchar residents. The double standard of decision making does not reflect well on the mayor and the councillors."

The issue will be discussed again next month.

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