Nova Scotia

Cell tower concerns raised in north-end Halifax

Dozens of north-end Halifax residents gathered at a local school to voice their concerns about a proposed cellphone tower in their neighbourhood.
A rendering of how the proposed cellphone tower might look from Robie Street. (Bell Aliant)

Dozens of north-end Halifax residents gathered at a local school to voice their concerns about a proposed cellphone tower in their neighbourhood.

The proposed 30-metre tall Bell Aliant cell tower would be located at 3468 Robie Street, on a piece of land next to the Halifax Regional Water Commission reservoir.

Kate Rose, one of about 60 people who attended the public meeting Thursday night at Highland Park Junior High, has started a petition against the project.

"I think concerns range from health issues — which are existing, which have been proved to be existing — and go right through the importance of a green space to have for our children and our pets and our older people," she told CBC News.

"Also the look of our community — there's no way that this in any way contributes to the health or welfare or beauty of the space that we live in."

In planning documents submitted to the Halifax Regional Municipality, Bell Aliant said it had identified an area where its signal needed to be strengthened because more customers are using tablets and smartphones.

The company said the selected spot on Robie Street was the only suitable place within the area of poor cellphone reception.

"Throughout the site selection process, special care has been taken to maximize distance from existing residential dwellings," wrote Duane Lovelace of Bell Aliant.

Dozens of north-end Halifax residents gathered to hear about a proposed cellphone tower in their neighbourhood. (CBC)

"For wireless radio frequency clearance and coverage demands, it was determined that other infrastructures were not suitable or located outside the search parameters."

If the tower is built, the Halifax Regional Water Commission wants to add its own communication equipment to it, which would help it cut down on its communication costs.

Rose said the residents in the area just don't want a cell tower in their backyards.

"I got together with a number of residents of the north end who live within very close proximity to the proposed tower and we're not happy about any of it," she said.

"We're not happy about the look of it, we're not happy about the health concerns, we're not happy about the loss of green space."

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