Objectors have lost their bid to have a proposed telecommunications tower planned for Castlemaine moved to a different site.
Planning tribunal VCAT has granted a permit for the Optus tower to be built on land beside a football oval at the Wesley Hill reserve. The structure will be 35 metres tall.
At a hearing before the tribunal in November 2020, a group of objectors said the tower was "in too prominent a location at the entry to Castlemaine from road and rail and would be the tallest structure in the township".
The objectors tried to argue the new infrastructure should instead be co-located with an existing Telstra structure nearby on Ross Drive.
But the developers suggested the Wesley Hill location was important because the tower would improve mobile coverage in an under-serviced part of the town.
"I am satisfied that in order to meet the particular servicing requirements in this location, it is not practical to co-locate with an existing stand-alone telecommunications facility elsewhere," VCAT member Mary-Anne Taranto said in her judgement, handed down this week.
"I do however consider that the proposal's reliance on the host pole which will also accommodate oval lighting, although slightly different in its overall height and dimensions than the other three lighting poles around the oval, is broadly consistent with the intent of this principle."
Other issues raised by objectors, including suggestions the tower could pose a health risk or lead to increased levels of cyber bullying, were dismissed.
Ms Taranto made some amendments to the proposed conditions for the development, but decided a permit should be issued.
"I conclude that while there will be some visual impacts arising from the establishment of this proposal," she said, "those impacts are not unacceptable and overall there will on the whole, be a net community benefit."
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