Grand Boulevard fight: It’s ‘take two’ in Optus tower battle

Not here: Stacy Heywood (left), Heather and Gary Leadbetter, Kunju Pulimooddil, his daughter Reina and son Ron at the site of the proposed tower. Picture: Marco De LucaCRAIGIEBURN residents are preparing for another battle against Optus plans to build a 35-metre tower on Grand Boulevard.
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The news comes just two weeks after the Weekly reported that Hume Council voted against a similar Optus tower development on Mt Ridley Road.

The proposed tower would include antennae, lighting, and an ancillary base station and shelter.

The proposed site at 229-275 Grand Boulevard is close to an oval, where sports groups train regularly, and is only 200 metres from houses.

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Residents were shocked to learn of the potential development, given the unsuccessful attempt by Optus this month.

Heather Leadbetter, who lives across the road from the proposed site, said she would submit an objection to the council against the development.

“My first impression was I was concerned about the health issues,” she said.

“All I had was negative thoughts about radiation because I didn’t have a full understanding of what it all meant, and you need to do your own research.”

Mrs Leadbetter, who received notification from Hume Council about the development last week, said not enough residents had been made aware of it.

“The letter was only received by residents directly located in Cleveland Drive. No other residents in the neighbourhood received this letter,” she said.

“The residents we have spoken with have concerns about this telecommunications monopole as they emit radiofrequency radiation 24 hours, seven days a week.

”The ovals are used regularly by the cricket and football clubs and other sporting associations. [The tower would also be] in close proximity to a childcare [centre], primary and secondary schools.”

Residents have voiced concerns via social media on the Highlands Community Residents’ Group Facebook page, with many stating they’ll object to the development.

The group also held a community meeting on Wednesday night, when the tower plan was discussed.

At the meeting, Cr Drew Jessop gave an overview of the tower plans and explained to residents the rationale behind rejecting the last proposed tower.

A council spokesman said he could not confirm when the matter would come to a vote.