David Stuart

Kings Forest Telstra tower to go ahead

TELSTRA has won the right to build a telecommunications tower in the Kings Forest development area despite initial opposition from Tweed Shire Council.

A 30m tower and an equipment shelter will be housed behind a chain-link fence at the north-eastern corner of the area, which has been allocated for a mixed residential, commercial and community development.

It will have about 4500 homes covering 437ha of land when completed.

The council initially rejected Telstra's plan but reneged on its opposition when it faced an appeal before the NSW Land and Environment Court.

Public submissions over contamination, the threat to a nearby koala habitat and the tower's visual impact were put aside as the council admitted they did not warrant the application's refusal.

"In relation to koala habitat and threatened species issues, the council has assessed a flora and fauna survey conducted for the proposal and is satisfied that there are no issues that warrant refusal of consent," Commissioner Susan Morris said.

"The proposed tower will be visible from the playing fields when constructed and the release area to the south when developed.

"At the present time the vegetation associated with the koala corridor and adjacent pine species provide screening of the tower from the north.

"The court notes that these pines may be removed as part of the council's work within the corridor however does not consider that the loss of those trees is such that the visual impact of the tower is unacceptable when viewed from adjoining properties, particularly given the separation distance to dwelling houses."