The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport have launched a technical consultation seeking views on proposals for changes to permitted development rights for electronic communications equipment in England. The intention of the proposals is to support the deployment of 5G and to extend mobile coverage whilst balancing appropriate environmental protections and safeguards.
This consultation follows an earlier consultation in August 2019 and looks at how to implement the reforms set out in the Government’s response to this earlier consultation.
Part 16 of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order 2015 deals with permitted development rights for electronic communications equipment. Currently most electronic communications equipment can be installed as permitted development, subject to limits on the scale and location of development. In locations with an environmental designation, such as Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks, World Heritage Sites (Article 2(3) land), these permitted development rights either do not apply or are more restricted. The proposals set out in this consultation (summarised below) allow for wider permitted development rights, including on Article 2(3) land, and seek to balance the benefits of improved connectivity with local control and environmental protection. Note that the proposals do not apply to sites of special scientific interest, listed buildings or scheduled monuments.
As well as the proposed amendments to permitted development rights set out above, the consultation also seeks views about a proposal to include a prior notification procedure for development impacting on safeguarded areas (aerodromes, technical sites and military explosives storage areas). It also includes a proposal to amend the definition of ‘small cell systems’, in relation to which certain permitted development rights already exist, in order to widen this definition and remove uncertainty as to what types of technology are included.
The consultation applies only to England and will close shortly before midnight on 14 June 2021.
Contributor: Florien Stone
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at April 2021. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.
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