Call tower plan stokes resistance

TELSTRA'S plan for a new 30-metre-high communications pole in Corlette faces opposition from Port Stephens councillors.

The development application for the $450,000 pole was lodged in September and the goal is to have the tower built at the end of Fame Avenue to address growing demand for mobile services in the area.

The proposal is almost identical to one that was abandoned two years ago after protests from the community and has been strongly opposed again by residents, who say it is too close to homes and will have a negative impact on home values.

It is an argument that gained some support on the council - East ward councillor Sally Dover confirmed that she would oppose the proposal.

"It's in the exact same place as last time [and] I'm not happy at all. I think it's too close to homes and I know the residents are not happy with it," she said.

"I think they need to relocate and find a more suitable site for it . . . we said last time it was too close to homes and I think they can do better."

While it is unclear if Cr Dover has a majority on her side, she believed the two other east ward councillors, John Nell and John Morello, opposed the plan.

The proposal was originally due to go before council before the end of the year.

The council received a petition signed by about 120 residents opposed to the development before public submissions on the proposal originally closed on October 23.

The group was successful in their push to have the closing date on submissions extended to October 30, and the Examiner understands it could now potentially be early in the new year.

Shan Darcy, one of the residents opposed to the plan, said the group had almost 400 signatures opposed to the development and planned to ask other residents to boycott the company if it pushed ahead with the development.

"The response has been overwhelming," Mr Darcy said.

"This is a case of them wanting to increase their customer base, putting their business above the needs of the community."

Telstra, for its part, insists it has no other choice on the location.

Chris Cusack, general manager for Telstra in Newcastle, previously told the Examiner that the service from Gan Gan had reached its maximum, and that there was no alternative site.

"Basically we're seeing the next G network demand double roughly every 12 months," he said.

"Look at coverage like a balloon - the more people who use a particular service, the more the balloon shrinks and the people on the edge suffer the most."

NO SUPPORT: Telstra's plan for a new communications pole in Corlette faces opposition from Port Stephens councillors.

NO SUPPORT: Telstra's plan for a new communications pole in Corlette faces opposition from Port Stephens councillors.

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