A monopole tower will no longer be erected on the property of the Christian Fellowship Centre in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)

Centre withdraws from cell tower project in Qualicum Beach

TELUS plans to continue to look at plans to improve cellphone reception in the area

The Christian Fellowship Centre in Qualicum Beach has terminated an agreement with TELUS to erect a cellphone tower on its property.

The spokesperson for the telephone company, Liz Sauve, said the CFC informed them of their withdrawal to provide a site for their tower the day before TELUS held an open house on Feb. 20, to inform as well as hear the concerns of residents.

“We still moved forward with the open house in good faith to meet with residents to hear directly from them about our proposal,” said Liz Sauve.

“At the open house, we heard from residents who were in support of the proposed investment to improve wireless service in the area, and from residents who had concerns about the location of the tower, or about the health and safety of radio frequency emissions.”

TELUS proposed to build a 40-metre monopole tower in the Qualicum Beach area in response to increasing demands for better coverage and capacity in the area. They also want to make sure that residents have the connection to make 911 calls from the area in the event of an emergency.

The plan, however, met opposition from some residents.

A petition was set up against the plan by Qualicum Beach resident Michelle Whitney.

A seperate petition in favour of the plan was organized by resident, Tim Benesh. He attended the open house and said in a message to the PQB News that “once again, the loud voices of the few have silenced the majority.”

Benesh was disappointed to hear of the CFC’s move. He said this is the third proposed cell tower that has been rejected in the Qualicum Beach area.

TELUS is still committed to reviewing the project and its proposed investment in the community, according to Sauve.

“We will determine our next steps in the coming weeks,” said Sauve.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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