§ Mr. Gwilym Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will issue a consultation paper on planning controls over satellite television antennas; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Moynihan
My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Wales have today issued a consultation paper on permitted development rights for satellite television antennas.
The Government are fully committed both to protecting the environment and to facilitating the growth of telecommunications. There have been major changes since the present planning regime for satellite television dishes was introduced in the mid-1980s. We need to provide better safeguards for the visual environment, respond to the growth in satellite broadcasting, and take advantage of the development of smaller antennas. The consultation paper sets out a range of options. Any 198W extension of permitted development rights—which remove the need to apply for specific planning permission—should in our view be balanced by additional controls over unnecessarily obtrusive installations, particularly in sensitive areas.