Residents fight to stop 40m tower

Opposed to planned Optus tower. Heather Trevor-Jones, Wendy Blumson, Anna Hooper, Roy Blumson, Kath Mooney, Tom Mooney and Alan Hooper.
Opposed to planned Optus tower. Heather Trevor-Jones, Wendy Blumson, Anna Hooper, Roy Blumson, Kath Mooney, Tom Mooney and Alan Hooper.
It may be only a small community, but home owners who live near the intersection of Bangalow Road and Old Bangalow Road at Byron say they are ready to put up a big fight to stop Optus building a 40m tower near them.

Optus plans to build the telecommunications tower on Byron Council-owned land adjacent to the water reservoir located near the intersection.

Submissions on the application closed yesterday, with the council expected to make a decision early in the new year.

The mobile phone company has been looking for a site for the tower for several years, with various sites at Coopers Shoot already rejected.

For the residents living near the planned tower site, they say the structure will have a major visual impact on their lives and they also have grave concerns about electro-magnetic radiation from the telecommunications equipment

 Anna Hooper and her brother Alan, who have lived in their house above the Byron Bay golf course for 40 years and whose house is less than 100 metres away, said the tower would have a big affect on their lives.

They said the planned tower would be visible from most of their living areas.

“It’s going to be right in our faces,” said Mr Hooper.

The tower, he said, also would be highly visible from Hayters Hill, which had magnificent views over Byron Bay, and would become the new ‘symbol’ for Byron Bay.

Heather Trevor-Jones, the mother of a two-year-old daughter and who is seven months pregnant, lives in a house about 150 metres from the tower site.

She said she had lived in the house for four years, but would move out if the tower was built because she wasn’t prepared to expose her children to the dangers presented by the tower.

Roy and Wendy Blumson have lived in their house just across the road from the planned tower site for nearly 40 years and are angry at the lack of consultation from Optus on the issue.

Mr Blumson said residents were prepared to fight the issue in the Land and Environment Court if they had to.

Mr Hooper said one of the residents’ biggest concerns was that because Optus had ‘run out of options’, their objections wouldn’t be given the same consideration.

Long-time Byron Bay hotel operators Tom and Kath Mooney, who own a home nearby, also oppose the tower plan.

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