Government consultation on mobile broadband planning deregulation

The Government has launched a consultation seeking views on the proposed deregulation of planning laws to permit faster development of infrastructure associated with mobile broadband. The consultation closes on 14th June 2013.

Mobile broadband infrastructure consists largely of transmission masts and antennae. The new regulations aim to make the process of gaining planning permission for new infrastructure faster, maximising the use of shared equipment, while maintaining environmental protections, particularly in designated landscapes.

The key proposals are:

  • To clarify existing permitted development rights
  • To ensure that safeguards remain in place for designated areas
  • To permit the mounting of masts further back from roof edges and on walls, to reduce visual intrusion and use of ground-based masts
  • To encourage network operators to share masts
  • To make the use of small 'microcell' antennae easier

The Government claims that existing planning regulations are slowing down the development of mobile broadband, which is seen as increasingly important to the economy.

Consultation on the proposed regulations is now open, and is aimed at planning authorities, businesses and individuals who might be affected by the changes, parish councils, community representatives, and organisations with an interest in the countryside. To read the consultation document and find out how to make your views heard, use the link below.

Useful links

DCLG / Defra consultation: Mobile connectivity in England