June 15, 2021

Permitted Development Reforms Vital for Mobile Network Rollout as Mobile UK Submits Response to DCMS and MHCLG Technical Consultation

permitted development rights, planning, 5G, 4G, Shared Rural Network, Mobile UK

Mobile UK submits its response to the DCMS and MHCLG’s technical consultation on changes to permitted development rights for electronic communications infrastructure.

The global pandemic has shifted the focus to digital connectivity as people and businesses have adapted to new ways of working. Even after lockdown and as the economy pivots to recovery, these ways of working are expected to remain. The industry has seen a dramatic change in network usage patterns as traffic congestion and significant demand has moved from business districts to more residential and suburban areas.

The industry is investing heavily to adapt its networks. At the same time, it is working with governments to extend rural 4G coverage to 95% of the UK’s geography through the Shared Rural Network and to rollout 5G networks to build in capacity and future proof the UK with world-class connectivity. This will ensure that people and businesses have at their disposal the best networks and the latest technologies.

To achieve this, the industry will be upgrading much of its network over the next five years; this will involve upgrades to many of its existing sites and adding new infrastructure across both the urban and rural landscape. So it is crucial that the planning system is not an obstacle to both the Government’s ambitions and the industry’s ability to build. Currently, the planning system is not fit for purpose, which is why Mobile UK and its member operators support changes proposed in this consultation. These changes will go a long way in helping to increase certainty in the planning process, both for operators and local authorities, and to reduce disparities by facilitating a much more efficient method for operators to deploy the necessary infrastructure.

 Commenting, Gareth Elliott, Head of Policy and Communications at Mobile UK, said:

“The Government and industry have ambitious targets to rollout urban and rural coverage. The planning system must act as an enabler and not a barrier. We welcome the changes proposed as part of this technical consultation and look to the Government to implement them as quickly as possible to assist 4G and 5G deployment.”
Mobile UK Response to DCMS / MHCLG Technical Consulation on Changes to Permitted Development Rights for Electronic Communications Infrastructure

About Building Mobile Britain

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Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.

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Media Contacts

Gareth Elliott
Head of Policy and Communications
Tel: 07887 911 076

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