3. ASDF as part of the Consultation Process

Proponents and their consultants undertake a range of investigations when identifying and assessing proposed sites for antenna systems.

These investigations include consideration of the potential visual effect of the proposed antenna system. However, there is no transparent, structured process which documents and assesses the surrounding environment of a proposed site for an antenna system and assists with determining how the antenna system should be designed to respond to this context. It is acknowledged that this process is undertaken intuitively by proponents during the site acquisition process.

The Antenna Siting Design Framework (ASDF) is a tool provided by CRINS-SINRC which is integrated into the LUA consultation processes and does not replace any of the current practices undertaken by Proponents or LUAs . It is designed to suppliment existing information gathering, consultation or assessment processes, and provides an additional layer of information that can be fed into the consultation process to assist the proponent in assessing the impact of its antenna system design and provide the LUA and the public a quantitative metric which highlights the visual impact of the site.

In addition, the Antenna Siting Design Framework provides the opportunity for LUAs to establish the impact on visual amenity so as to ensure that the level of public consultation and review is appropriate to the impact of the proposed site on the surrounding environment once constructed.

It is recognised that there are a range of other objectives that influence site selection including the availability of land, requirements of the landowner, occupational health and safety, cost, access for maintenance purposes, construction issues and radio frequency requirements such as coverage objectives, capacity, network design constraints, line of sight and height of surrounding building, trees and other structures.

While these commercial and engineering considerations are important, they do not adaquately reflect the impact of proposed sites on land use. The Antenna Siting Design Framework quanitifies some of the land-use elements which are not addressed above.