A cherry picker shows the height of the proposed NBN tower at Cooran.
A cherry picker shows the height of the proposed NBN tower at Cooran.

Tower objector fears dream views lost to ‘progress’

A proposed Cooran NBN tower refused last year by Noosa Council and opposed by more than 400 people is a step closer to reality with councillors advised by a senior staff planner to settle a court appeal.

The council's visual amenity expert told a meeting on Tuesday the latest scaled down version in Tablelands Rd was not the blight on the landscape the council and locals were rejecting.

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Legal stoush brewing over rural NBN tower

Council development assessment manager Kerri Coyle said visual experts for NBN and the council agreed the proposal would achieve a reasonable level of compatibility with the rural setting and would not obstruct views to important landscape features.

NBN network builder Aurecon has already reduced the proposed monopole tower height from its original 35m proposal.

Councillors at next week's ordinary meeting must decide whether or not to accept council legal advice to end its defence of the Planning and Environment Court appeal and approve a 26m version.

The proposed NBN tower site at Cooran.
The proposed NBN tower site at Cooran.

Noosa Quad Bike Tours operator Charles Marais is among those withdrawing from legal action against the tower being built near his property.

Mr Marais said he was doing so reluctantly.

He said it was a case of "whoever has the deepest pockets wins in court" after his legal team told him he would have to spend at least $150,000 on the appeal.

"Nobody has the same money as NBN - council did what they could do," Mr Marais said.

"I disagree with it but it's the way the process works."

Mr Marais said he bought this property because of the beautiful views as part of his retirement plans.

"It's always been my intention to build the main house up there," Mr Marais said.

"The way that I look at it is keep smiling and moving ahead.

"I won't be building the dream house up there that's for sure because I don't want to be looking at a tower."

Ms Coyle has recommended councillors impose a condition for the tower to be finished in pale eucalypt to "assist in blending the tower visually into the landscape".

There would also be some enforced tree canopy retention.

However, Mr Marais believed the dominant background colour was more "a hazy blue".



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