THERE were cheers and tears from more than 50 residents when Sunshine Coast councillors unanimously refused an application for two 85m radio towers in the heart of rural Valdora last week.
Broadcast Australia Pty Ltd wanted to erect the towers on an 88ha block of land between the Bruce Hwy and Coolum on Valdora Rd to boost ABC News Radio coverage in a service black spot.
The company argued Australian Communications and Media Authority specifications limited the search area to within a 10km radius of a previously operated facility at Cook Rd, Bli Bli.
But after council officers had contacted the authority, it was confirmed that "there were no spatial limiting factors for the site selection process as previously indicated by the applicant".
"There were, in fact, possible options to locate the facility outside the 10km search area or to upgrade an existing facility at Bald Hills in Brisbane," the council report said.
Mt Ninderry resident Linda Morrell said residents feared the land would end up looking like a NASA site, with masts 25 storeys high.
Council's development services director Julie Edwards said the proposal, which attracted 1089 submissions, was in conflict with the planning scheme at both strategic and code levels and the benefits of the service did not outweigh the conflicts.
"It is considered that the scale and environmental characteristics of the proposed facility will alter the rural landscape values and heritage significance of the Ninderry Range and impact upon the views and amenity enjoyed by residents and tourists," she said.