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Tower erected without proper consultation

akkreditasie

A cellphone tower constructed in Croydon, Faure, has raised the ire of residents in the small community.

Croydon residents have since submitted a petition against the construction of the tower to Subcouncil 22.

“The positioning of the tower is a problem – it is less that 50 meters from homes,” says a representative of the Croydon Residents’ Association.

He adds no public participation process was conducted prior to the construction.

“Residents only became aware of the cellphone tower after construction had begun on the Steyne Road property in March.

Ward 22 councillor Victor Isaacs confirmed reception of the petition with 54 names.

Avril van der Rheede, spokesperson for Eagle Towers South Africa says the tower was erected by his company.

He said Eagle Towers rented antenna space to MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) and ISPs (Internet Service Providers).

“I have in my personal capacity asked a few passing residents what their opinions were concerning the erection of the tower, and their response was ‘we can’t wait’,” Van der Rheede said.

He said approval for the cellphone tower construction was received on 19 December 2014 and approval from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning came on 9 July last year.

According to Van der Rheede, no approval is needed from the municipality as the property is within an industrial area.

He said building plans were approved on 15 January this year.

“We built within the prescribed building line and therefore did not require approval from the adjacent property owners,” Van der Rheede said.

He said the height of the tower was decreased after plans were submitted to the SA Heritage Resources Agency.

“It was approved on condition that we drop the height of the tower from 55 m to 45 m, which we did,” Van der Rheede added.

Councillor Johan van der Merwe, Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, confirmed the land is zoned for general industrial purposes, which allows for a free-standing base telecommunication station.

“The facility is situated within the urban edge of the City of Cape Town; no application in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) is therefore required,” Van der Merwe said.

Van der Rheede said because the tower was constructed within the prescribed building line no approval is needed from adjacent property owners. Croydon residents will fight against the existing cellphone tower, the residents’ spokesperson said, adding that an application for the construction of a glass factory was previously turned down.

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