Thank you Spark

What a very fine example of a company Spark is as they have actually listened to, we, the people.

The proposed move to try and build their towers on council-owned berms was environmentally unacceptable.

Berms are the grass areas outside houses and beside footpaths. The berms belong to the local authority but it is the homeowner who looks after the berm at no cost to the council.

Good maintenance helps to improve the neighbourhood as well as the homeowner’s property. It was totally unacceptable for Spark towers, along with their big cases, to be on residential berms.

The residents of Omokoroa stood up to Spark and the tower was shifted well behind the Settlers Hall where it does not affect home owners but still provides the service.

Because there was nothing in our district plan to stop Spark it was over to the community to negotiate from an environmental, and common-sense position for berms not to be used for such a purpose.

Spark was about to make the same Omokoroa mistake in both Te Puna and Katikati, but they have learned from the community that residents were not prepared to put up with them on grass berms right outside their homes.

So, the residents of both Katikati and Te Puna are extremely grateful that Spark is listening and now making sure that their facilities, which must be able to service our communities, need to be in places that are away from immediate residential homes. Great!

Thanks Spark. When mobile phone towers were first introduced the best places for them were on commercial / Industrial buildings or zones or in the back of reserves, and that is still the case.

I still say thank you for thinking of the people and making a common sense decision.

Margaret Murray-Benge (mayoral candidate) Western Bay of Plenty District Council

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