The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has called for its members to retain the right of approvals on the height of phone masts to support the roll out of 5G and extend mobile coverage.
The organisation, which represents town and parish councils, has flagged up its position in advance of responding to the Government’s consultation on proposed reforms of permitted development rights.
This includes a proposal that operators can increase the height of a mast up to 25 metres above ground level on unprotected land under a general permitted development order, which frees them having to seek planning permission.
NALC has protested at this, saying it wants to ensure all heights of masts are subject to a full planning application and consultation with parish and town councils.
Its chair, Councillor Sue Baxter, said: “NALC is pleased that the Government has announced this consultation. For too long residents in rural parished areas have suffered from the dual blight of inadequate access to mobile telephone signals and very poor rural broadband connections.
“We hope the Government will strike the right balance and secure improved signal provision without having huge masts affecting the rural skyline.”
NALC also called for new build houses and business buildings to be provided with in-built infrastructure for connection to fibre optic broadband; and said it supports the Rural Coalition’s call for infrastructure to support the rural economy.
Image by Calum Young, CC2.0 through Wikimedia