Dardanup council topple Henty mobile tower plans

South Western Times

The Dardanup Shire Council unanimously voted to reject a development application for a mobile tower in Henty last week.

Shire president Mick Bennett said councillors based their decision on the proposed Pile Road location near Joel Court “not being a good idea”.

“The community didn’t like where it would have been in an area just as you were coming down into the valley, which I think is fair enough,” he said.

“It’s sad that we miss out on that extra coverage but sometimes other things have to win out.”

More than 20 submissions were made after the application was advertised, and all but four of them were to express objections.

A report prepared by council staff also recommended the application be rejected as it did not meet the council’s landscape protection area objectives.

“Council staff looked at it believing it was in the wrong location as well,” Cr Bennett said.

“I can’t be sure, but I think council would have overturned a decision if the recommended resolution was to go ahead.”

Councillors listened to delegations from Aurecon and the South West Development Commission speaking in favour of the application before making the decision.

They spoke about the benefits a new tower would bring to tourism and emergency services as “the last piece in the puzzle” as there are already towers in place at Ferguson and Wellington Mill.

An application to construct a 60m lattice mobile tower was originally made in September before being withdrawn and resubmitted as a 40m monopole tower.

Money in the Federal Government’s black spot program had been allocated to building the tower if development approval was granted prior to the end of June.

The funding will likely be redirected away from the region once the time period lapses but councillors requested chief executive Andre Schonfeldt examine more appropriate sites for a tower to be placed in the future.

“Seeing as the money was left over from a project in Denmark it was brought up thinking this area would be a quicker process,” Cr Bennett said.

“The council and the community as a whole would welcome the extra coverage, but not at the expense of the vista in the area.”

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