Milton residents have been left feeling outraged following the proposed development of an Optus mobile phone base station on the outskirts of town.
A 27.7 metre ‘concrete monopole’ has been earmarked for construction at 17 Wilfords Lane, leaving residents up in arms and fearing for their health, property values and the impact of the tower on the area’s aesthetic appeal.
On Thursday, November 17 residents received a letter in the mail notifying them of the proposed development.
”We got a notification from Optus in the post to say a tower is being installed,” Milton resident Jo Whitty said.
“It just looked like junk mail. On the front of the it said ‘to the resident’. People thought it was junk mail and discarded the letter.”
Residents are worried by the letter’s feedback deadline of tomorrow Thursday, November 24. However, The Times has been able to confirm there was a ‘mail mix-up’ and the feedback deadline has been extended to Thursday, December 8. This will allow residents the required three weeks to provide feedback.
Concerns have been raised regarding the base station’s close proximity to the helipad with some worried the flight path may be interrupted or larger choppers may not be able to land; while others are concerned the tower’s transmission could be impacted by the aircraft's downdraft.
While the proposed base station’s electromagnetic energy (EME) emissions are within legal limits residents are fearful of lasting health concerns.
“Myself and the people I have spoken to are concerned about the emissions and what it will do to our health. Especially for the children of the school it backs onto,” Jo Whitty said.
Shoalhaven City Council said approval for the base station was still in the planning stages and asked residents to put concerns in writing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Optus, development company Catalyst O.N.E, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and NSW Ambulance have been contacted for comment.
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