§ Mr. Jenkin
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the environmental impact of licences granted to code system operators under the Telecommunications Act 1984. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
My Department is aware that code system operators licensed under the Telecommunications Act 1984 are required to develop a telecommunications network under the terms of their licence. The potential impact on the environment of the different forms of development involved is a key factor in forming Government policy on telecommunications planning. This is set out in my Department's Planning Policy Guidance note 8, supplemented by Appendix E to Circular 9/95 and by the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Regions, Regeneration and Planning on 4 November 1997Official Report, columns 152–53. The general policy is to facilitate the growth of such systems while protecting the environment. It is important that operators and local planning authorities work together to ensure that network rollout is not carried out at disproportionate environmental cost.