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Telecommunications Masts

For many people mobile phones are a part of everyday life. With increased use comes increased demand for mobile phone masts, the siting of which often generates a lot of local interest. This page provides you with more information about mobile phone masts and how the Council works to minimise the impact they have on the amenity and character of the town.

How can I find out if there is a phone mast or base station near me?

Follow the link to view the Mast Register . These tell you the location of masts in Crawley, including those that have not been granted permission or are not operating yet.

You can also find a list of operational sites within the town for each operator as well as an indication of where the operator is looking to provide additional sites over the next 12 months by viewing the Telecommunications Operator Roll Out Plans .

'Sitefinder' Mobile Phone Base Station Database is a national database of mobile phone base stations and their emissions. Visit the “sitefinder” website to find out if there is a phone mast or base station near you: www.sitefinder.ofcom.org.uk

What is the Council’s position on phone masts?

Read policy GD32 of the local plan and Supplementary Planning Guidance note 15 by clicking on the links in the Related Pages and Documents sections.

Why don't all masts require full planning permission?

Generally full planning permission is only required if a mast is greater than 15 metres in height (although there are some exceptions). Masts below this height are dealt within under Part 24 of the General Permitted Development Order. This means that the Council has 56 days to make a determination otherwise it is deemed to be Permitted Development, and (subject to landowner consent) can be erected.

Who should be consulted?

New Guidance from Government in the revised PPG8 states that publicity for applications should be dealt with on a case by case basis. For some time Crawley Borough Council has been consulting with immediate neighbours of proposed mast locations. We are now encouraged by Government to undertake additional publicity that may be necessary.

Are there stricter rules for masts proposed in locations on or adjacent to schools?

Yes there are. Telecoms operators should discuss proposals on or near schools with the relevant school or college before submitting any application and should provide evidence of doing so, when an application is submitted. The local planning authority should consult the schools governing body in the form of a written letter when applications are received.

What about the health considerations?

Masts emit Electro Magnetic Fields (EMFs). These are the source of public concern. Research by the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (The Stewart Group), concluded that:

"The balance of evidence indicates that there is no general risk to health of the people living near to base stations (Masts) on the basis that exposures are expected to be small fractions of the guidelines"

But it was also concluded that that the possibility of harm could not be ruled out with confidence. Therefore a precautionary approach was recommended and this was accepted by Government.

These precautionary measures are as follows:

Why is the Planning Division unable to take into account health considerations when determining mast proposals?

Government Guidance states that all proposals should state that they meet ICVIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection) guidelines. Beyond this, health effects should not be considered further.

It is the government's firm view that the planning system is not the place for determining the health safeguards and if a mast meets the ICNIRP guidelines then it should not be necessary for a local planning authority to consider health aspects further.

The enforcement of health and safety issues relating to Masts is a matter for the Health and Safety Executive and not the local planning authority.

Is there a minimum legal distance masts should be located away from property?

Government Guidance ( PPG8 ) states that Local Planning Authorities should not insist on minimum distances between new telecommunications development and existing development.

What are the major factors that are taken into account to ensure the impact on the amenity of the town is minimised?

The visual impact of the mast in the proposed setting, The height of the mast. Whether or not it would be appropriate to include landscaping around the mast and whether the design of the mast is appropriate in the context of its proposed location.

What is the Government’s position on phone masts?

A For more information on the operation of the planning system in relation to telecommunications and planning policy visit Department of Communities and Local Government website www.Communities.gov.uk

Where can I get more information about phone masts?

There are some excellent sources of information available via the internet. Here are some useful websites you might be interested in visiting:


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Town Hall
The Boulevard
Crawley
West Sussex RH10 1UZ
Open Mon to Fri 8.30am-5pm

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address:
Town Hall
The Boulevard
Crawley
West Sussex RH10 1UZ
Open Mon to Fri 8.30am-5pm

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