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Telecommunications Masts

Volume 450: debated on Thursday 12 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance she has issued to local authorities on defining close proximity to residential areas and schools when considering planning applications for mobile telephone masts. (89331)

Mobile phone mast development in residential areas is subject to the normal telecommunications planning arrangements in place throughout England, set out in Part 24 of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (GPDO). These arrangements were significantly strengthened in 2001 and include improved requirements for consulting local people about mast proposals. The changes to the GPDO were underpinned by revised guidance, set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 8, Telecommunications.

The Stewart Report on Mobile Phones and Health, published in May 2000, did not recommend that the erection of mobile phone masts should be restricted in residential areas and we have no plans to introduce any such restrictions.

It did not recommend that the erection of masts on or near schools should be prohibited.