Lake Macquarie council has approved plans for a mobile phone tower that was formally opposed by close to 500 people during the development assessment process.
Optus' development application for the 32-metre monopole at a site on Reservoir Road in Glendale was approved eight votes to four at an extraordinary council meeting on Monday night.
A decision on the DA had previously been deferred for councillors to inspect the site, which six of them did earlier this month. Staff had recommended its approval.
The site, known as McDonalds Quarry, is owned by the council and it will make $29,000 per year from Optus as part of an ongoing lease.
Hundreds of submissions opposing the tower had been made during the DA's exhibition last year, citing visual impacts and potential health risks to nearby residents and threatened flora and fauna.
Multiple councillors expressed similar concerns, including Cr John Gilbert who said there was no evidence of a "service shortfall" in the area and "serious aesthetic issues" with the development.
In a response to submissions, the council said the removal of 12 trees to accommodate a bushfire asset protection zone would "not significantly affect the overall appearance of the ridgeline" and the development would "not have adverse visual impacts to the broader locality".
The pole's 253 per cent exceedance of the area's maximum building height of 8.5 metres was "well justified" and the maximum electromagnetic energy level of 7.58 per cent was "a small fraction of the safe exposure limit".
"The connectivity of our city is of paramount importance," Cr David Belcher said.
"Telecommunications facilities are a necessary part of that."
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