Telecommunications Infrastructure
Email Campaign

The clause in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill on telecommunications infrastructure in protected landscapes will ensure that providers still have to notify local authorities of their plans. They will be encouraged to engage with local authorities and communities, and will have to sign up to a code of practice on the site of this infrastructure to ensure that any development is handled sensitively.

The Bill will remove the excessive red tape that hinders superfast broadband from being rolled out to local homes and businesses, especially helping rural communities facing a digital divide. This is similar to the reforms introduced by the last Conservative Government in the 1980s to allow satellite dishes to be put on homes without planning permission. This will open up new technology that will benefit society.

Please excuse some technical detail which I think is important. The provisions in clause eight of the Bill enable the electronic communications code regulations under the Communications Act 2003 to be amended. Planning is a separate consent regime from the electronic communications code, and planning is governed by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, by associated secondary legislation through the General Permitted Development Order 2005 and by planning policy guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework. This clause makes no change to the separate planning regime for masts.

The Government has worked with the English National Parks Authorities Association to ensure comprehensive safeguards are in place to protect the countryside. The Bill will ensure that the duty that already exists under Section 109 of the Communications Act 2003, for the Secretary of State to have regard to the environment and beauty of the countryside, will be deemed to meet the "have regard" duties set out in protected areas legislation when the Secretary of State comes to make such regulations under Section 109.

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