HC Deb 11 January 1994 vol 235 cc17-8W
Mr. Byers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to make the erection of communication masts subject to the normal local authority planning procedures; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Baldry

[holding answer 17 December 1993]: I have no plans to change the selective planning controls over the erection of telecommunication masts which were introduced in January 1993.

The erection of masts up to 15 m in height has a general planning permission, under the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1988. But if a local planning authority considers that a proposed mast would threaten amenity, it may determine that prior approval is required for its siting and appearance. The mast may not then be erected without that approval. A planning application is required for masts above 15 m, and in protected areas such as conservation areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

I am satisfied that these powers strike a reasonable balance between the need to protect amenity and the needs of the telecommunications industry.