Giant NBN tower with flashing lights outside Pat's window
A MONSTROSITY, 45 metres tall topped with red flashing lights is what will greet Pat Mandeville each morning if Ballina council approves construction of an NBN tower outside her home.
While Mrs Mandeville knew of plans for a National Broadband Network tower in the Lynwood area, she never dreamed it would be 250 metres from her bedroom window.
The Lynwood Residents Group member said after approaching many local landholders, in February 2014, NBN Co signed a land agreement with her neighbours to construct the tower a property on Dees Ln.
"They (NBN Co) had been refused by lots of other landholders in the community," she said.
Once a development application DA for the tower was lodged with council, NBN Co advised of a community information session at Meerschaum Vale last August, where Mrs Mandeville said her neighbours became aware of the community sentiment about the tower.
"I didn't think there was going to be such opposition to it," Mrs Mandeville's neighbour said.
At that stage, Mrs Mandeville said the DA stated the tower was to be painted non-reflective grey and would "not result in adverse impacts to the area."
What has upped the ante is a Civil Aviation Safety Authority report sent to council requiring the tower to be fitted with red flashing lights and painted in alternating red and white bands of colour.
"How can something painted red and white, with flashing red lights that is 45 metres tall not be excessively visible or intrusive or dominate the surrounding locality?
"Nobody who's against this tower is against the NBN, just the location of the tower.
"And as far as the flashing red lights are concerned, I'm thankful I'm not an epileptic."
Adding to the frustration, Mrs Mandeville said there was a fibre optic cable running past the proposed tower site along Uralba Rd, which would provide faster broadband than the tower.
Mrs Mandeville said the Lynwood Residents Group had suggested to council the tower be located in the 155ha Forest Hills reserve, but were told it would impact a koala colony.
The DA will go before Ballina council's February meeting.