This consultation seeks views on proposed planning reforms that will allow the deployment of telecoms equipment to be quicker whilst ensuring that there are appropriate environmental protections and safeguards in place. Proposals we are consulting on include:
- enabling the deployment of radio equipment housing up to specified limits and allowing greater flexibility for installing equipment cabinets in existing compounds to support 5G deployment and incentivise the use of existing sites for site sharing
- strengthening existing masts by permitting alteration or replacement and increases in width and height up to specified limits to enable sites to be upgraded for 5G and for mast sharing
- enabling the deployment of building-based masts up to specified limits, including masts located nearer to highways, to support deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage, subject to prior approval and specified limits
- enabling higher new masts to deliver better mobile coverage and mast sharing, subject to specified limits
Changes to the safeguarding procedure and technical changes to the definition of ‘small cell system’ are also proposed.
This technical consultation follows an earlier consultation on the principle of these proposed reforms.