§ Mr. Peter Robinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many telecommunication masts have been erected within Northern Ireland in the last 10 years, broken down by council area; and how many acts of vandalism upon masts have been perpetrated during that period. 
§ Angela Smith
The number of planning approvals granted for telecommunication masts, broken down by council area, is as follows:
District council area Total applications approved 1994—to date Antrim 62 Ards 60 Armagh 57 Ballymena 71 Ballymoney 15 Banbridge 31 Belfast 196 Carrickfergus 22 Castlereagh 39 Coleraine 48 Cookstown 28 Craigavon 64 Derry 53 Down 43 Dungannon 80 Fermanagh 106 Larne 37 Limavady 46 Lisburn 71 Magherafelt 27 Moyle 30 Newry and Mourne 53 Newtownabbey 39 North Down 79 Omagh 55 Strabane 26 Total 1,438
Information on the number of approvals for telecommunication masts in 1993 is not available.952W
Planning Service does not hold information on the number of telecommunication masts erected following receipt of approval.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland has advised that it is not possible from the statistics available to identify the number of offences relating to criminal/malicious damage caused to telecommunication masts.
Under Planning Policy Statement 10—Telecommunications—Planning Service requires service providers to show that site sharing of an existing mast has been investigated and that new mast proposals will only be acceptable to the Department where it is proven it is not possible to share. This is in order to limit the visual intrusion of phone masts across Northern Ireland. The process usually involves placing additional equipment to an existing mast, and, unless de minimus, would require planning permission. As a result of this, it is possible that more than one planning approval could pertain to a single mast.