Cell mast dilemma

Church locked into contract and unable to withdraw

A CHURCH at the centre of a proposed cell tower controversy has found itself unable to withdraw from the application process to erect the tower because it signed over power of attorney to the cell mast company.

NO TO CELL TOWER: About 20 residents staged a protest against a proposed cell tower on the property of the Dias Dutch Reformed Church as church members arrived for the service on Sunday May 28 Picture: JON HOUZET

Following strong community opposition to the proposed cell tower being erected on the property of the Dias Dutch Reformed Church in Boundary Road, Port Alfred, Dominie Wikus Venter sent out a letter saying the church had “withdrawn from the process”, hoping to offset a staged protest outside the church on Sunday May 28.

However, this turned out not be accurate, as the church council has since admitted it gave Atlas Towers power of attorney when it signed a contract with the company in August last year. The original power of attorney document submitted with the application was undated, but this has since been amended.

The proposed tower at the Dias NGK was one of four towers proposed to be erected on various NGK properties around Ndlambe, including in Nemato, Bushman’s River and Boknes. BJB Projects was appointed to produce the application for departure with Ndlambe town planning and notices were placed calling for public comment and objections by June 30.

Residents have submitted objections to the municipality, based on health concerns over electromagnetic radiation, the way the process was being conducted, and the impact of the towers on property values.

See the full story in this week’s Talk of the Town.

Cell tower consternation

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