Lake Macquarie council is working to determine how it can hold councillor inspections of proposed developments and still adhere to social distancing advice.
The council debated the merits of conducting site inspections amid the COVID-19 outbreak at last week's ordinary meeting.
Two development applications for telecommunications facilities were up for determination and some councillors wanted to conduct site inspections of both proposals.
The first, a 45-metre high lattice tower supporting equipment for the NBN Corporation on Taylors Road in Cooranbong, was ultimately deferred until a councillor site inspection could be held.
Site inspections can include 12 councillors and the mayor, council staff, people behind the proposal and members of the public.
"I don't feel I know enough about this and I do have a bit of concern about where some of these towers go, so I would like to have a look at it before I vote on it," Cr Colin Grigg, who proposed the inspection, said.
Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser referred his proposal to chief executive Morven Cameron for clarification on whether the inspection could be held given social distancing measures.
Ms Cameron was "reasonably confident" a site inspection could go ahead with "very clear guidelines" about how many people attended and how it was conducted.
The council unanimously voted to defer the matter for an inspection, but similar concerns were raised when it assessed a DA for a telecommunications facility at Fennell Bay.
That DA, from Optus, was for a 30-metre high monopole and associated access track at the former Bolton Quarry site on Main Road. The tower exceeds the area's maximum building height by 21.5 metres.
Cr John Gilbert moved an amendment for a site inspection to be held. "What concerns me about this one is the close proximity to residences," he said.
Cr Jason Pauling said there was no need for the inspection, especially now. "This has gone through our staff processes and a recommendation [for approval] has come before us," he said.
Cr Gilbert's amendment was defeated and the original motion featuring the staff recommendation to approve the DA was approved four votes to three.
A council spokesperson told the Newcastle Herald on Monday it was yet to be determined how site inspections would be held.
The spokesperson also said a decision had not been made on holding council meetings via video link, which is now allowed after changes to NSW government legislation last week.
Five councillors did not attend last week's council meeting due to heightened health risks of themselves or their family members.