§ Mr. McGrady
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if she will list the telecommunications masts which have been erected without the benefit of planning permission due to permitted development rights; 
(2) on how many occasions the Department of the Environment Planning Service has withdrawn permitted development rights in respect of the erection of telecommunications masts; and what were the locations of these masts; 
(3) how many applications for planning permission for telecommunications masts have been made to each of the divisional planning offices since 1 April; what applications were approved; what are the locations of these masts; and how many have been erected. 
§ Mr. Paul Murphy
Responsibility for these matters has been delegated to the Planning Service under its Chief Executive, Mr. T. W. Stewart. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from M. S. McKay to Mr. Eddie McGrady, dated 5 December 1997:The Secretary of State has asked Mr. T. W. Stewart, Chief Executive of the Planning Service, to reply to your recent Questions about the erection of telecommunications masts throughout Northern Ireland. I am responding on Mr. Stewart's absence on annual leave.The Planning Service does not hold records of the number of telecommunications masts actually erected. However, I can say that since 1994 there have been 236 requests for determinations as to whether telecommunications equipment of various types could be erected under the permitted development, of which 203 requests were confirmed 7 were not permitted development, and the remainder are currently outstanding. Once confirmed that a proposal is permitted development, there is no time-scale laid down within which it has to be erected. To date, the Department has withdrawn the permitted development rights in respect of one telecommunications mast in the Downpatrick area.As regards the number of planning applications submitted and approved for telecommunications masts since 1 April 1997, the information is not readily available in the precise form requested. The available information is as follows: