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Telecommunications Developments

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 19 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what guidance his Department offers in respect of publicity for telecommunication developments with reference to (a) site notices, (b) notifications to town or parish councils and (c) notification to local residents; and if he will make a statement;[15664]

(2) what guidance his Department has issued in respect of publicity for telecommunication developments in respect of (i) site notices, (ii) notifications to town or parish councils and (iii) notification to local residents; and if he will make a statement.[16189]

Where telecommunications development is subject to a planning application, the local planning authority is required by law to publicise the application. This will be either by a site notice or by neighbour notification, and may also include a newspaper advertisement. Departmental guidance on this is given in Circular 15/92: "Publicity for Planning Applications". There is a statutory requirement for local planning authorities to consult the relevant parish council, at the council's request, of planning applications. Where development is subject to a prior approval determination under Part 24 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, Appendix E to Circular 9/95 encourages publicity so that people likely to be affected by the proposed development can make their views known to the local planning authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the impact of the 28 day prior notification limit for telecommunications developments on (i) consultation with parish or town councils and councillors, (ii) opportunities for comment from local residents and (iii) the opportunities to negotiate and amend proposed schemes; and if he will make a statement.[16188]

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 17 November 1997, Official Report, column 3

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will enable local planning authorities to extend the 28 day limit in their determination of applications for telecommunications developments; and if he will make a statement.[16187]

This is an issue on which I expect the Working Group reviewing the Code of Best Practice on telecommunications prior approval procedures as applied to mast/tower development will make representations to me. I will reflect on their conclusion in due course.