Another cellphone tower may be installed in Gore.
Growing demand for its services has prompted Spark New Zealand to apply to the Gore District Council for a resource consent to install another cell tower in Gore.
The 15m tower would be placed on the grass verge between the footpath and hedge on the corner of Waimea and Crewe Sts.
The verge is owned by the Gore District Council.
Spark New Zealand lead corporate relations partner Michelle Baguley said at present there was only one Spark cell tower in Gore but demand for the company’s mobile services had been growing.
“The number of devices like smartphones, iPads and connected watches is increasing, as well as customers who are adopting wireless broadband to stream video content like Netflix and Lightbox in their homes.
“It has become apparent that new infrastructure is required in Gore to satisfy these demands before the only existing Spark cell site there reaches its sensible capacity limits,” Ms Baguley said.
Resident Andy Roberts, who lives opposite the proposed site on the corner of Crewe and Broughton Sts, was one of the eight property owners contacted by Spark.
Mr Roberts said he did not want to comment much until he had heard back from Spark.
Some of the residents had a meeting with company representatives and raised concerns with them, which the company was going to consider.
However, he was concerned about the effect having a cellphone tower in close proximity to his property would have on its value.
“There’s a negative perception associated with cellphone towers,” Mr Roberts said.
He had cleared trees at the front of the property so he would have a pleasant view.
“We’ve spent a lot of money to enhance the property and they’re going to go and slap a cellphone tower right in the middle of it.”
Gore District Council infrastructure general manager Ramesh Sharma said national environmental standards for telecommunication facilities guidelines allowed cellphone towers to be erected as of right in residential areas provided they complied with all the requirements in that standard.
“In this case, the tower is higher than allowed and therefore requires resource consent approval.
“The council has received a resource consent application from Spark seeking approval for the increased height,” Mr Sharma said.
The application has been assessed by council advisers and Spark has been requested to consult with several property owners in the vicinity.
“Once the consultation process is completed by Spark, and feedback received, the council will determine how the resource consent will be processed and whether any formal notification is necessary.”
Once the need for a new facility was identified, Ms Baguley said Spark explored possible options for a new site by taking into consideration factors such as civil requirements, planning consents, radio frequency compliance, network design elements and the maximum number of addresses that could be served by the new tower.
“In the case of Gore this work has been going on by a team of planners and radio frequency engineers for some months, trying to determine the best possible location for two new cell towers.”
While the public might think cell towers could be placed anywhere, this was not so.
“It’s a delicate balancing act for us to deliver the quality of services our customers expect without anyone seeing the necessary roadside infrastructure.”
It was not practical to position cell towers far from town because the coverage would not reach the people who needed it.
“Many other sites in the area have been investigated thoroughly and we are confident this one is the best, in terms of all the criteria we need to meet.”
Installing the tower would take between four and six weeks to complete.
“We would like to have the tower installed by August.”
The cost of a cell site varied depending on its size, location and the civil works involved but they could cost up to $500,000.
A further tower was planned for the industrial area near Charlton Ln, but no site had been selected yet.