Cellphone site causes concern

The gracious Riverina homestead looks set to have a cellphone tower positioned on the roadside outside it.

The proposed installation of a cellphone tower outside the historic Riverina Homestead, on the corner of Wilson and Hepburn Creek Road in Warkworth, is being called insensitive and inappropriate by a neighbouring resident.

The neighbour has received a letter from Spark advising that the 14-metre high cellphone tower will be positioned on the road verge outside 46 Wilson Road.

Riverina is a two-storey villa listed with Heritage NZ as a Historic Place Category 2. The fired-clay homestead was built by the founder of the Wilson Cement Works, Nathaniel Wilson, more than 100 years ago. Until recently, it was the home of the late Beverley Simmons.

Natasha Pezic, who grew-up on Wilson Road and whose parents still live there, says the cellphone will be an eyesore that will detract from the historic value of the homestead.

“I have no idea what I can do to prevent this from happening, but it really upsets me,” she said.

A Spark spokesperson says the positioning of the cell tower is still just a proposal at this time. “To provide some context, the proposed site is on the roadside, not on the property at 46 Wilson Rd, and there are also nine-metre high overhead power lines and tall trees close to the proposed site,” she says.

“The Warkworth area has seen unprecedented growth for digital services in the last three years. Mobile and digital service is currently being delivered to this part of Warkworth by an existing site that is reaching capacity.

“Spark needs to invest in new infill sites (usually located between existing cell sites) to boost coverage and capacity.”

She says the new tower will deliver 4G services.

To find learn more about the history of Riverina, visit: localmatters.co.nz/news/22843-local-landmark-riverina

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