Council Complains about 5G Planning Powers
5G operator-led consultation with the Government reduces local planning authorities’ powers, council bosses have claimed.
12:49 16 October 2019
Blackburn with Darwen Council has recently voiced their concerns in regards to the operator-led consultation with the Government concerning 5G deployment in the country particularly in rural areas.
In order to deploy the next-generation mobile network and improve coverage in areas with poor connection, mobile network operators will need to build taller masks, building-based masts nearer to highways and deploy radio equipment. Such development usually require planning permission from the local government.
However, the Government is now proposing to amend the permitted development rights in England to speed up the deployment of 5G.
Council bosses said that although the technology is vital, control over permission should remain with local authorities.
Martin Kelly, Director of growth and development said: “Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council understands that rural communities are keen to obtain levels of digital connectivity such as fast broadband and good mobile phone signals in order to support both work and leisure.
“However, it is considered that the Consultation with the Government is very much operator led and appears to be removing further controls from the planning regime, which will lead to local planning authorities having reduced powers to protect their local communities.
“The requirement for new taller communications masts will have to strike a balance between the landscape and better connectivity and respect certain protected areas, in particular here in Blackburn With Darwen Borough, the SSSI site in the south of the borough, Country Heritage Sites, which contain significant ecological and biodiversity attributes and the conservation areas.