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Mobile phone and telecommunications

We are responsible for regulating new and existing telecommunication installations, such as phone masts within the District.

Telecommunication developments fall into three categories:

  • Development requiring 28 days notice to the Council. These are minor developments. Operators have to give us 28 days notice of their intention to install equipment. We do not have a duty to consult with local residents over the submission of such applications
  • Development requiring our prior approval. Prior approval notifications are required for some mast or antennae, certain other equipment and public call boxes. Planning permission is not required, but the applicants are required to notify us of their proposals. We cannot object to the principle of the development but we have 56 days to comment on the siting and design
  • Development requiring full planning consent. We consult local residents and town or parish councils over the submission of prior notification applications in the same way as for developments requiring planning permission.

These are dealt with under the general planning guidelines and planning policy. We send consultation letters to all affected parties and is likely to publicise the application with a site notice and advertisements in the local press.

Factors considered when assessing proposals

The following factors may be considered regarding proposals to site telecommunications developments:

  • The site when observed from any side, including from outside the District
  • Relationship to residential property
  • The site in relation to areas designated for their scenic or conservation value
  • The effect on the skyline or horizon
  • The site in relation to existing masts, structures or buildings
  • The existence of landscape features and natural vegetation
  • Any other relevant considerations

The Government's view is that councils should not consider the health aspects or concerns of telecommunications developments that meets the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines for public exposure.

All applications must be accompanied by the relevant validation checklist

If you require any further information contact the Planning Team

Useful links

Office of Communications (Ofcom) is the communications sector regulator and has wide-ranging responsibilities, that were inherited the duties of the five existing regulators it replaces: the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC), the Independent Television Commission (ITC), Oftel, the Radio Authority and the Radiocommunications Agency.

Stewart Report was set up to examine public health concerns about emissions from mobile phones.

Health Protection Agency. Part of the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, the Division carries out the Health Protection Agency’s work on ionising and non-ionising radiations. It undertakes research to advance knowledge about protection from the risks of these radiations; provides laboratory and technical services; runs training courses; provides expert information and has a significant advisory role in the UK.

Department of Health provides various Government sponsored reports on mobile phones and their use.

Mobile Operators Association (MOA) is the focal point for the network operators on health, scientific research and planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. They are also able to share relevant information with interested parties such as local planners, elected councillors, resident groups, amenity bodies and the public.

International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection is the principle body providing information and advice on the potential hazards of exposure to non-ionizing radiation.

The Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) has issued advise for schools and local education authorities on mobile phones and base stations.