Tall tower draws residents’ ire

An example of a lattice telecommunications tower next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
An example of a lattice telecommunications tower next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Construction of a telecommunications tower the same height as the Leaning Tower of Pisa is proposed on Western Sydney University land less than 100 metres from nearby properties.

Landcom has proposed the 56-metre tower be built on Lot 7, Narellan Road, Campbelltown to replace an no-longer-feasible tower already situated on the university campus.

Residents opposed to the tower’s construction spoke at Tuesday night’s Campbelltown Council meeting to share their anger.

Cassandra Steppacher said the proposed tower was “incompatible with the rural landscape”.

She asked the council to delay its decision on the tower.

Charles Vella, speaking on behalf of the applicants, said the proposed location of the lattice tower had been carefully considered.

“We have put a lot of time and effort looking into design aesthetic and location,” he said.

“We chose the lattice design to minimise visual impact.

“As far as we’re concerned we’ve done all that’s asked of us, and beyond, to make this as palatable as possible for everyone.”

In addition to the tower itself, the proposal includes the construction of three equipment shelters.

The site is already home to an AGL Energy compound used for gas extradition activities.

Council staff reported the new structure would be seen by nearby residents but found the visibility to be within acceptable margins.

“It is acknowledged that the proposed telecommunications facility would be visible from residential properties to the south of the site, namely properties on the northern side of Menangle Road, Glen Alpine,” the report read.

“The facility is set back approximately 180 metres from the nearest residential dwellings on Menangle Road which is considered to be appropriately set back to reduce the visual impact of the facility.

“It is also considered the proposed facility is unlikely to have a significant adverse impact on the visual amenity of the surrounding locality.”

Mr Vella said the coverage which must be provided severely limited the available locations for the tower’s construction.

Several councillors debated forcing the applicants to again investigate alternative locations for the tower which would have less of an impact on nearby residents.

However those councillors were outvoted.

The chamber voted instead to defer the decision until after council staff inspect the site.