Cullinan & Associates Inc defends rights of residents to say no to neighbourhood cellphone towers

26 March 2018

Cullinan & Associates assisted residents of Rondebosch in successfully appealing a decision to permit the installation of a 12 metre high cellphone tower in their neighbourhood.

Residents had been outraged that the City of Cape Town’s Municipal Planning Tribunal had granted zoning permission for a portion of a residential property to allow for a freestanding base telecommunication station (cellphone tower) to be built. They were concerned that the City’s Planning Tribunal had not adequately addressed their previous objections. Their appeal detailed their concerns about health and visual impacts, the lack of desirability for the tower, its effect on community property values and how reception was already satisfactory in the area.

The Mayor, Patricia De Lille, and her advisory panel agreed with the residents that the cellphone tower had a real and significant negative impact on neighbours and that its installation was incompatible with the residential surroundings. When weighing up the benefits and costs of the tower, the Mayor found that the community costs were too high to justify its construction and that the structure was undesirable on the proposed property.

The Mayor disagreed with the neighbours that the cellphone mast posed a health hazard, but nevertheless found that their “safety, health and wellbeing” would be severely impacted by the tower.

Cullinan & Associates’ appeal on behalf of the residents was successful and the Mayor promptly set aside the decision of the Municipal Planning Tribunal.

Are you a concerned resident?

If you wish to object to a proposed telecommunication mast in your community, it is important that you get involved in the process early on. Only parties who object to the development when it is first advertised may later appeal, and only those parties who appeal the decision are eligible to institute a judicial review in Court should their appeal not succeed. There is a procedure to allow parties to intervene if they have not participated in the process from the start, but we recommend your involvement from the beginning.

Cullinan & Associates Inc has a wealth of experience in land use planning and heritage matters in Cape Town and across the country. Get in touch if you would like to learn more!

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