Planning issues in telecommunications

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Planning issues in telecommunications
  • Permitted development rights for telecommunication development
  • What is permitted?
  • Dual purpose development is not permitted
  • Exceptions
  • Definition of ‘mast’
  • Conditions
  • Circumstances in which prior approval procedure is required
  • Prior approval procedure
  • Notice of proposed development
  • More...

Planning issues in telecommunications

Permitted development rights for telecommunication development

Certain forms of telecommunication development, eg mobile telephone masts, are permitted development, ie they do not require planning permission.

For more information, see Practice Notes: Permitted development in England, Permitted development rights and the prior approval system and Permitted development in Wales.

What is permitted?

Part 16 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, SI 2015/596 (GPDO 2015) and Part 24 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, SI 1995/418 (GPDO 1995) provide deemed planning permission (subject to exceptions and conditions) for development by or on behalf of an electronic communications code operator for the purpose of the operator's electronic communications network in, on, over or under land controlled by that operator or in accordance with the electronic communications code, consisting of:

  1. the installation, alteration or replacement of any electronic communications apparatus

  2. the use of land in an emergency for a period not exceeding 18 months to station and operate moveable electronic communications apparatus required for the replacement of unserviceable electronic communications apparatus, including the provision of moveable structures on the land for the purposes of that use, or

  3. development ancillary to radio equipment housing

‘Electronic communications apparatus’ is defined in the Communications Act 2003 (CA 2003) as:

  1. any apparatus designed or adapted for

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