To aid the UK's quest to provide greater coverage and connectivity across the country and facilitate the government's hope for the UK to be a global leader in 5G, a consultation has been launched seeking views on proposed changes to planning legislation, to enable the deployment of electronic communications apparatus. These changes are intended to apply to England only. For further information on the changes in Scotland, please see our blog here.
Planning permission is deemed as granted in respect of a number of development scenarios involving electronic communications infrastructure, under the General Permitted Development Order. These developments either require prior approval of the local planning authority ("Prior Approval") or, permit the development without approval but require the developer to notify the local planning authority within 28 days of the permitted development right being exercised ("Without Approval"). In all other scenarios, full planning permission must be sought.
The consultation proposes and seeks comments on the following proposed changes:
- Radio equipment cabinets up to 2.5m3 are to be permitted on an area of outstanding natural beauty ("AONB") Without Approval.
- Alteration or replacement of existing masts:
up to a height of 25 metres subject to Prior Approval on an AONB or land on a highway.
up to 20 metres, Without Approval on all other land (excluding sites of special scientific interest), Without Approval.
any alteration or replacement between 25 metres and 30 metres in height, subject to Prior Approval.
on all land outside of an AONB and sites of special scientific interest, building-based masts within 20 metres of the highway, Without Approval.
masts and poles less than 6 metres in height above the tallest part of a building, Without Approval.
- Existing ground-based masts:
if less than one metre in width, to increase up to two-thirds in width, Without Approval on all land (except sites of special scientific interest).
greater than one metre in width, to increase up to one half or two metres in width (whichever is greater), Without Approval on all land (except sites of special scientific interest).
if less than one metre, increase up to one-third or one metre (whichever is greater), Without Approval on an AONB or land on a highway.
- New ground masts:
to be permitted up to 25 metres, Without Approval on an AONB or land on a highway.
new ground masts up to 30 metres, subject to Prior Approval on all other land (except sites of special scientific interest).
monopoles up to 15 metres in height, Without Approval on all other land (not AONB or sites of special scientific interest).
All stakeholders are encouraged to take part in the consultation, which can be accessed here. The consultation closes on 14 June 2021.
If you have any concerns or questions about these proposed changes, how they may impact your business or land and what you can do about it, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Real Estate Disputes team or your usual Brodies' contact.