§ 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 18W 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.