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A family set to have an electronic substation built 20cm from their bedrooms is begging Moreland Council to step in.
The new substation, which will power route 58 trams on nearby Melville Rd, will be built in a residential area on Reynard St Pascoe Vale South, after the council denied two requests from Public Transport Victoria to build it in nearby Shore Reserve.
Carmel Lochiano has lived in her home next door to the site for half a century and said she had begged the council to locate the substation elsewhere so the constant humming and electromagnetic fields (EMF) didn’t disrupt her family.
“We are screaming out to the council to reconsider and have it moved closer to the park,” she said. “The alarms are all there but the council isn’t listening.”
The Lochiano family home runs up to the boundary of the site for the substation. Picture: Ellen SmithThe building set for the substation sits inches from bedrooms in the home, and generators and cooling equipment will run in it constantly.
The council was approached by PTV and Yarra Trams in 2014 and 2016 to build the substation at the reserve but were knocked back.
A letter written by the council to PTV, and seen by the Leader, in September of 2016 states the council didn’t support the substation in Shore Reserve because it would impact tree roots and promote anti-social behaviour.
A plan to build it underground was also rejected.
The council’s acting director of city futures Phillip Priest confirmed the option to build in the parkland was knocked back because the reserve was “highly valued by the community”.
Ms Lochiano’s son Frank was born with a hearing defect and wears hearing aids in both ears. He said it was likely the hearing aids would pick up humming from the substation.
“It will be pretty bad, because of the electronics it will just be a constant buzz,” he said.
Several homes in the street have created signs in opposition of the project and an online petition against it has gathered 500 signatures.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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