One proposal eyes land near residential neighbourhood
© Thinkstock image
Cellular towers stretch into blue sky in this stock image. Bell is proposing to build two similar towers
in St. John’s, one in the downtown area and one in the Waterford Valley area.
— Thinkstock image
Bell Mobility wants to build two cellular towers in St. John’s, one of which will apparently be located close to a residential neighbourhood.
The telecommunications company recently gave public notice of its intentions to develop separate cell towers at the Oceanex Terminal in downtown St. John’s and at a site located off of McLoughlan Street. That street is located off of Foran Street.
In a statement emailed to The Telegram, a spokesman for Bell Mobility said that “(d)emand for mobile data services has continued to grow at a rapid pace,” going on to say the proposed towers would allow the company to better serve customers in the city.
Bell Mobility is proposing to build a 25-metre tower at the Oceanex Terminal, along with a small equipment building and perimeter fencing. The cellphone tower off McLoughlan Street would involve a 14.9-metre structure and another small equipment building.
“As with all Bell sites, we follow all government standards for safe construction and operation,” said the spokesman.
The company has scheduled open house information sessions for later this month. That news surprised Ward 3 Coun. Bruce Tilley, who represents residents of McLoughlan Street at city hall.
“Usually when someone comes here with a project, it goes through the city’s system, (after) which we’ll call a public meeting and we’ll go forward with it,” said Tilley, who cautioned he does not have enough information about the proposed cell tower off McLoughlan Street to discuss it with residents.
According to a spokeswoman for the city, an application has been received for the proposed cell tower at the Oceanex Terminal, but it has been deferred until after the city completes its siting protocol.
As for the proposed cell tower off McLoughlan Street, city staff could not find an application for that area of
St. John’s. The spokeswoman did emphasize that an application still may exist, as staff in the planning department who typically search for such information are currently on vacation.
Proposals for cell towers near residential areas have proven contentious with the city in the past. In January 2012, council unanimously rejected a proposal to place a cellphone tower on Torbay Road. Health and environmental concerns were cited by multiple councillors.
The two-hour open house information session for the Oceanex Terminal tower is scheduled for Aug. 20 at the St. Mary the Virgin Church Hall, starting at 6:30 p.m. The session concerning the McLoughlan Street tower will take place the following night at the same site.