Permitted Development Rights for 5G Developments

MHCLG has published a consultation document seeking views on possible amendments to permitted development rights to support deployment of the 5G telecommunications network.  Alongside extended powers granted to operators under the updated Electronic Communications Code new sites are likely to be rolled out much faster than they have been previously and land & property owners will need act prudently in order to protect their position when approached regarding any possible development.

Proposals include removing the need for mobile phone operators to seek prior approval when installing radio housing equipment or upgrading masts to support 5G. The consultation also suggests operators could be allowed to install building-based masts close to highways without planning permission and to build higher masts than currently allowed under permitted development rules. Under current permitted development rules, operators may install radio equipment housing of up to 2.5 square metres without planning permission. The paper also proposes removing this size limit and the need to seek prior approval for radio equipment housing on land outside sites of special scientific interest. The existing rules also allow an increase in the width of mobile phone masts by up to a third.  Full planning permission is currently required to install masts on buildings less than 15 metres tall and located within 20 metres of a highway. The consultation seeks views on whether this requirement should be removed and if such proposals should be subject to prior approval. An increase in the height of ground-based masts allowed under permitted development rights is also proposed, subject to prior approval.

The consultation closes on the 14th of November and the relevant documents can be found here.

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