The Farmers’ Claims Council has only blocked access to part of its land with a cellphone tower

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A west Auckland farmer said Auckland Council had blocked access to part of his land by building a cellphone tower in front of his gate.

Greg Jonkers, owner of Jonkers Farm in Waitākere, said Auckland Council had given approval for a cellphone mast to be built in the middle of the only legal access route it has for part of his farm.

Jonkers said the footbridge had been there since 1939 and contractors had now dug a large hole just ahead.

“Council has given resource consent to build a tower directly in the middle of the driveway. It wouldn’t even allow a motorcycle to pass.

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Jonkers said the council had never visited the site before granting consent. He received notice of the tower being built a few months ago, but said he didn’t think it would be placed in the middle of the driveway.

“Last week I passed by to feed my cows and noticed the big hole over there and thought, ‘That’s not the case.’ It’s amazing that they decide to put it there.

Greg Jonkers said part of his farm and access to his daughter's unit had been cut off by the construction of a cell tower.

GREG JONKERS/Supplied

Greg Jonkers said part of his farm and access to his daughter’s unit had been cut off by the construction of a cell tower.

Jonkers’ daughter has a small house on the 20-acre plot of land that Jonkers says is now gated.

“Without this access, we are landlocked on this block. My daughter will have no way to get in and out of her unit without crossing private land.

A spokesman for Auckland Council said the proposal was not located in a position that would prevent access to the Jonkers’ home.

The gate that leads into a 20 acre block of farmland before construction began.

GREG JONKERS/Supplied

The gate that leads into a 20 acre block of farmland before construction began.

“Council does not agree that an error was made. The application was assessed under the council’s streamlined process and therefore no site visit was deemed necessary,” the gatekeeper said. speech.

“The proposed mast is located on the road reserve. When the application was filed and assessed, any old access was obstructed by overgrown vegetation and not being used. »

The council’s spokesperson said it does not have any resource consent records that can confirm whether the gateway was consented or not.

Jonkers said the farmers’ footbridges always had grass growing on them if the herbicide was not regularly sprayed and that minimal traffic meant the path did not wear down like a normal road.

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