July 22, 2020

Planning proposals welcome but legislative change must follow


Mobile UK welcomes the Government’s response to its consultation on Permitted Development Rights to support the deployment of 5G and to extend mobile coverage. The proposals put forward build on recommendations made by Mobile UK but the changes must be now be expedited through Parliament to so as to be useful for the rollout of the Shared Rural Network and 5G update. The mobile industry is already investing heavily in its networks, but with new technologies and higher demand, brought about in part from the reshaping of society throughoutCOVID-19, new capacity and infrastructure need to be built urgently. The current planning regime continues to put up barriers, and while we welcome the proposals today, we call on the Government to fast-track them through parliament.

The reforms propose to:

  • Enable the deployment of radio equipment housing on land without requiring prior approval, up to specified limits and excluding sites of special scientific interest, to support 5G deployment;  
  • Strengthen existing masts up to specified limits to enable sites to be upgraded for 5G and for mast sharing without prior approval;
  • Enable the deployment of building-based masts nearer to highways to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage, subject to prior approval and specified limits; and
  • Enable higher new masts to deliver better mobile coverage and mast sharing, subject to prior approval and specified limits

Commenting on the Government’s response Hamish MacLeod, Director at Mobile UK, said:

 “Changes to planning regulations will make it easier to share, build and upgrade the increasingly critical mobile infrastructure. People expect to be connected wherever they are to a network that works, and we welcome the Government’s response; however, these proposals must be translated into legislative change this year, so that the economic recovery from COVID can be supported by world-class digital 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.

See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain

Media Contacts

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

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