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Telecommunications Development

Information on what is telecommunications development, how it is controlled, guidance documents and details of telecommunications development in the Borough.

Telecommunications development is required to support modern means of communication whether that be through use of mobile phones or by use of other wireless technology.

In order to support the increasing use of such devices infrastructure is required such as mobile phone mast, and other equipment cabinets (such as broadband).

The provision of such infrastructure may require permission through the provisions of the Town and Country Planning legislation.

Planning policy background

Central Government policy is essentially contained in the National Planning Policy Framework. The Telecommunications operators also have a code of best practice.

Code of Best Practice on Mobile Phone Network Development (PDF Document, 1.65 Mb)

Central Government supports telecommunications development and encourages local councils to help facilitate the growth of new and existing telecommunications systems whilst keeping the environmental impact to a minimum. The Government also has responsibility for protecting public health.

The use of mobile communications has increased rapidly over the past 15 years, and modern telecommunications are an essential and beneficial element in the life of the local community and in the national economy. The Government considers that fast, reliable and cost effective communications can attract business to an area and help firms be competitive.

In short the Government wishes to ensure that sufficient infrastructure is provided so that people can use their mobile phones in most places throughout the country.

Is permission required for such development?

Not all telecommunications development requires express planning permission from the Local Planning Authority. Some types of development only require a licence notification. Other types of telecommunications development require either what is known as ‘Prior Approval’ or a full planning application.

Licence notifications are generally for minor telecommunications developments including the adding of antennae to existing rooftop installations or changing equipment on existing sites. For these licence notifications, the operators do have to give the Local Planning Authority 28 days notice of their intention to install such equipment, and allow comment. However, the Authority has no control over this type of development and the short time scales do not allow for public involvement.

Notifications of 'prior approval' have to be determined within 56 days of receipt. If the Local Planning Authority does not respond within this time period, the operator has the right to install the apparatus without any further notification or permission. When dealing with these notifications, the Local Planning Authority can only consider matters such as siting and appearance of the installation but not the principle of the development or any other related issues as this has already been agreed by national legislation. Oadby and Wigston Borough Council will undertake public consultation on these type of notification in accordance with our published notification procedures.

Practice note on publicity and consultation (PDF Document, 51.12 Kb)

Where a telecommunications development requires a full planning application this will be considered in the same way as any other planning application and all material planning considerations will be taken into account in the determination of the application. Like any planning application public consultation will be undertaken in accordance with our published notification procedures.

Can I object on health grounds?

Health considerations and public concern can in principle be material considerations in determining applications for planning permission and prior approval. Whether such matters are material in a particular case is ultimately a matter for the courts. It is for the decision-maker (usually the local planning authority) to determine what weight to attach to such considerations in any particular case.

However central government, through the National Planning Policy Framework, state that Local Planning Authorities must determine (telecommunications) applications on planning grounds and should not seek to determine health safeguards if the proposal meets the International Commision guidelines for public exposure (the International Commission for Non Ironising Radiation Protection or ICNIRP guidelines).

Therefore, if the applicant has confirmed that the proposed installation is ICNIRP compliant, the Council is very unlikely to be able to refuse permission on health grounds.

Telecommunications development in Oadby and Wigston

The Council have a register of Telecommunications Development which has been produced in line with current Central Government Guidance on Telecommunications Development. The latest update on this document is August 2010.

Telecommunications Register for Oadby and Wigston (PDF Document, 105.93 Kb)

The register contains details of all planning applications for telecommunications development from 1995. It contains the site location, application reference, application description, the application decision and the date the decision was issued. The information on the register is updated on a regular basis, and indicates the status of the sites to the best of our knowledge.

Annual rollout plans

The Mobile Operators Association which represents the five United Kingdom mobile phone network operators (3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone) on planning issues. They provide an annual network rollout plan for each operator, a copy of there existing and proposed sites within the borough can be found below.

Please note that whilst every effort is made to ensure that this information is accurate and current, due to the rapidly developing nature of the operators networks, this information is subject to change over the course of the year.

Moa Rollout Plan 2010-2011 (PDF Document, 116.43 Kb)

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