Raising awareness & lobbying for safer wireless technology

It’s back to the drawing board for 2 Degrees looking for a suitable Stanmore Bay site for a cellphone tower.

After a Hibiscus and Bays Local Board meeting the company has agreed to reassess where the best site is for a tower in the Stanmore Bay area.

While 2 Degrees already has consents for a tower at 142 Brightside Rd, the company chose to negotiate the location after residents voiced strong opposition to a tower close to their homes.

Another site on the Stanmore Bay Park edge was a popular second choice for some residents, but 2 Degrees say several trees would need to be continually trimmed for the technology to work effectively.

The local board, acting as an affected property owner of the park site, did not support the park location and declined approval.

A resident and spokesman for the Improve Cellsite Planning group, Warren Frogley says the hero of the meeting was board chairwoman Julia Parfitt. She moved a resolution to instruct council officers to work directly with 2 Degrees to identify potential alternative sites to the Brightside Rd location.

The company will take the board’s offer and look at options with the assistance of council staff, 2 Degrees external communications manager Charlene White says. It spent a year looking before choosing the Brightside Rd site.

“We’ve made a commitment that we will work with them and we are doing what we have been asked to do; we will make a decision at the end of that process,” she says.

“We have no idea how long that will take. We really need to improve our coverage in the Whangaparaoa area and we have done everything we can to work with the community and local board to find a resolution.”

Mr Frogley says the cellsite planning group aims to raise awareness of the community’s feelings about cell towers being built in the area.

“We want to get the local board on side since there is very little protocol on where towers can be installed. We take this outcome as a positive because our long-term view is to change the way this process is managed and improve the planning,” Mr Frogley says.

“We want it planned not at the whim of money-orientated companies, but controlled by experts in planning, which is the council.”

Seven 2 Degrees towers are planned for the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. The first four have already been installed in Manly, Stanmore Bay, the Wade Heads area, and Tindalls Beach. “We are in the process of planning to build another in Stanmore Bay, Gulf Harbour, and a site behind Pacific Plaza,” Mrs White says.

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