Minister for digital and broadband Matt Warman will tell councils that planning permission for 5G equipment should only be refused when there are legitimate grounds and evidence.
In a letter to planning authorities, the junior minister in the Department for Digital, Media and Sport will point out the Government’s commitment to networks capable of gigabit speeds including 5G mobile, given the expected economic benefits.
Some local authorities have refused permission for 5G masts after having been lobbied by campaigners who fear the health impact of 5G signals, including Haringey in London and Brighton and Hove, although both refusals were made on visual impact grounds.
“Safety is always going to be paramount when we roll out new technologies and innovations, however there is currently no compelling evidence to back up concerns about 5G,” said Warner.
“We want to support work that will bust health myths over 5G and provide evidence based reassurance to the public. The benefits of 5G are huge – both to people's everyday lives and to the economy.”
The Government is consulting on simplifying planning rules to improve rural mobile coverage, including changing the permitted height of new masts. The National Association of Local Councils has argued that its members, town and parish councils, should continue to be consulted.
Image: Calum Young, CC2.0 through Wikimedia