JOIN
PLANNING SANITY
HERE
HELP US HELP YOU
our work relies upon your donations
and subscriptions to survive

PLANNING SANITY HELPLINE - Tel: 0871 750 3992
Flat rate call 10p per minute
Search Planning Sanity

Important
Legal
Notice
MAKE
A DONATION TO
PLANNING SANITY
HERE
Phone Mast Forum
Village Green Forum
Human Rights Forum
Transport Forum
The Planning System
Legal Forum
Non-Violent Direct Action
Tree Preservation Orders
Permitted Developments
Development Plans
Compulsory Purchase
Environmental Impact
Revocation and
Discontinuance of Use
Adverse Possession
Housing Forum
Public Inquiries Forum
Protected Areas Forum
Environment & Wildlife Forum
Party Wall Forum
Commercial Development Forum
Access to public Information Forum
Scottish Planning Processes
Welsh Planning Processes
Northern Ireland Planning Processes
Specialist listings
Resource Centre
Media Forum
Contacts - Links
Government Info Forum
Fundraising Forum
Briefings and Reports
Guestbook
Chatroom
Debates
Home Page
Email Planning Sanity
Return to Telemast Forum

Local Authority Telecommunication Good Practice Guide
Including Draft Supplementary Planning Policy

The following briefing sets out a Good Practice Guide for Local Planning Authorities and elected representatives faced with advising and making decision on telecommunication installations, guidelines for implementing policy structures for pre-application roll-out consultations and implementation of Supplementary Planning Policy.

There are many misconceptions within the telecommunication planning decision processes, whether that is through the prior approval, full planning permission, or those installations that by-pass the local planning decision making process, which is not helped by conflicting decisions by the courts and planning inspectors, this results in an inconsistent approach to the permission processes. Which in turn leads to the system being dis-credited resulting in ill feelings between local authorities, elected representatives (at all levels of Government) and the local communities affected by the installations.

Development decisions must be based on good policy, the Government bring this forward with Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPG), Regional Guidance Notes (RPG) and regulations. Local planning authorities bring their policies forward through local and structure plans, supplemented by topic specific guidance known as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG). Most LPAs now have some SPG, but with the introduction of the new regime under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 this policy documents will come into their own. It is therefore important that LPAs make an early start in putting these into place especially in controversial policy areas such as telecoms.

It is easy to make up a set of policies that may be in lime with elected members political views, or as a result of lobbying by the industry or the constituents, it is another thing getting those policies right so that they stand up to being challenged once implemented. It is from that stance that this briefing is aimed. Clearly local policies must be local, and you could not derive a set of policies that would be suitable for use by all LPAs, therefore our aim is simply top make suggestions for eventual integration into your own policy structures and procedures.

Policies can so easily be overturned on appeal, costing the LPA and local tax payers vast sums, but the pitfulls can be avoided. An illustration is close to the heart of most telecom objections is that the installation is too close to residential property. PPG8 makes it clear that local exclusion zones should not be implemented, but providing the policy is worded correctly then it is possible to implement a 'near' exclusion zone, it really is all in the wording, as well as ensuring that the policy is not implemented as a universal policy that blocks all installations that fall within its remit, that is each application must be determined on its merits. Thus a simple policy of “Planning permission and applications for prior approval for telecoms installations will not be approved where the proposed site is within the range of the Beam of Greatest Intensity”, that would not be acceptable, and would be overturned on appeal, but add the word 'normally' between 'not be', and then add the additional words “unless the applicant can demonstrate that no other suitable site is available”. The presumption of a grant of permission now passes to that of a refusal, putting the justification for the installation firmly on the applicant, as opposed to the LPA and public having to justify its refusal. The policy which would stand up to challenge would read in full:-

As such all applications for prior approval or planning permission where the site is within the beam of greatest intensity would have a presumption against approval, but it is not a forgone conclusion, each application has to be determined on its merits. It clearly is not an exclusion zone due to the ability to approve the application where there is no other site that is not in the zone of the beam of greatest intensity.

The key to good relations rests in ensuring that the views of the public are sought and are seen to be taken into account, although the decision will not always be that which the local communities are seeking. This can be achieved in many ways, not least of all by a policy that ensures that at every stage of the developments progress the public and local amenity groups are consulted, and their views are seen to be genuinely taken into account.

There are 5 distinct opportunities for the public to become involved in the decision on telecommunications installations that are determined by the local authority:

There are other opportunities for participation in decisions such as:

Paragraph 8 of PPG8 makes it clear that it is Government policy that there should be annual roll-out plans for an area. It is desirable that these discussions are undertaken in a public forum, with debate being had collectively by all operators, as well as involving as many amenity groups, parish councils and elected members, MPs and MEPs as possible, as well as leaving the door open to the general public to make comments on any suggested sites. In this way many of the problems that are faced further down the road can be avoided. Such debate should not be restricted to those installations that are to be considered through the local planning process, but to all installations including those that are deemed to be granted, under A.1(m); (n) & (o), A.2(4)(b) of Sch 2 of Part 24 of the GPDO (Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order), those considered by the various churches that have been granted the right to determine their own planning permission on church property. It would also be useful to include other installations by private companies and Network Rail although there is no obligation for those companies to participate.

PPG8 paragraph 8:

In the next stage of the formal process the operators have a commitment contained in the 'Traffic Light Scheme' and the '10 Commitments' to hold discussions with local communities. We include in our Draft Supplementary Planning Policy how these commitments can be included into planning decision making. As an example it will be noted that commitment '1' mirrors the obligation to consult set out in paragraphs 9 to 11 of the GPDO.

Operators Commitment No. 1

GPDO paragraphs 9 to 11.

Copies of the relevant documents can be viewed on the MOA (Mast Operators Association) WEB Site. From these it will be seen that by holding pre-application consultations with community groups it is possible using the operators own guidelines to exclude large numbers of sites before they even enter the planning process. Although it has been demonstrated that far to often the Operators only make use of these policy processes when it suits them. What we suggest is that the local authorities adopt the criteria as a starting block to determining those applications that are submitted for both planning permission and prior approval. By incorporating this as a specific policy within supplementary planning guidance makes it more likely that Operators will ensure that they follow their own guidelines, thereby reducing those applications that clearly will not pass the test, thus saving time and expense for both the O.perators and local planning authorities.

The local planning authority have the power under Article 4 of the GPDO (note this is the 1995 version, the Articles of which still apply, although Part 24 was updated in 2001) to ensure that the most sensitive sites (or localities) are excluded from the prior approval process, although confirmation must be obtained from the Secretary of State. Whilst this is a very useful tool to ensure better control over inappropriately sited installations, it has its limitations. The Government has made it very clear that the process cannot be used to implement blanket bans, or to impose local exclusion zones. Nevertheless, sites close to schools and hospitals, or localities that have environmental, historic or conservation interests may be areas where Article 4 Directions might be appropriate. Any Direction by the local planning authority must specify that it relates to the type of development set out within the schedule to the annexed to the Direction.

It is arguable that good use of an Article 4 Direction could be made to exclude those installations that are able through other Parts of the GPDO to bypass the local planning process, such as those installations under Part 24 A.2(4)(b) installations on buildings or structures that do not exceed the height of the building or structure by more than 4 metres. It could particularly be applied to those installations being installed under Part 17 by Network Rail, providing of course that an Article 4 Direction has been made prior to the development taking place.

It is important considering the finding of the Ombudsman in the complaint against Swindon BC who had failed to determine an application within the restrictive time limits of a prior approval application. It is therefore clearly important that local planning authorities ensure they determine all prior approval applications within the statutory 56 days. It cost the Swindon LPA £117,500 (being the difference in the value of the 6 complainants homes with and without the development). This type of finding by the Ombudsman is not that novel, indeed a quick browse of the Ombudsman's previous decisions finds many similar awards of compensation relating to a range of development types, where the actions of the local planning authority have caused residents homes, or property to be devalued.

The question also has to be raised in relation to human rights, and the obligation of public authorities obligations to take human rights issues into account. In this respect we would refer you to Davis &; Anor v Balfour Kilpatrick Ltd & Ors[2002] EWCA Civ 736, where Mr Justice Jackson said:

From this it will be seen that human rights overrides such doctrine as that established in Ryland and Fletcher, and brings home the clear prospect of public authorities becoming liable for their decisions if they fail to fully take human right issues such as Article 6.1, (the right to a fair hearing) into account. The failure to fully consider the perception of an adverse health effect, or as in a mirror case to that in Swindon and the decision of the Ombudsman where a local authority fail to inform the operator within the 56 days for prior approval applications (it should be noted that leave to apply for judicial review has been granted in two separate cases as to whether the 56 day process is lawful). Article 8 the right to a home, it could be argued that the home should be free from potential health risks. Article 1 of the First Protocol right to property, residents could argue that any drop in property values, or effective use, would constitute a violation of the right to peaceful enjoyment.

Whilst the issue of ownership of a site is rarely raised within a planning context other than to make a formal statement of those occupiers that have an interest in the land. However as a consequence of the wording of 'A' of Part 24 of the GPDO a local authority cannot even consider an application for prior approval where either the operator has express rights under his licence, or has a lease or freehold interest in the site of a period of at least 10 years duration.

A.4 sets out the definitions, in relation to the issue of interest in the land it states that it means:

Clearly any application that was considered and determined that prior approval was not required, and where it was subsequently discovered that the operator did not have the required interest in the land, would arguably make that permission ultra vires. It is therefore important that this issue is resolved at an early stage of the applications submission for approval. LPAs should also not be blind to none planning legislation and regulations, in relation to this aspect the The Electronic Communications Code (Conditions and Restrictions) Regulations 2003 which implement aspects of the Electronic Communication Code and the Communication Act 2003 for instance Reg 7 states:-

This clearly applies to even installations that would not within the planning legislation be referred to the LPA, such as A.2(4)(b) of Part 24 of the GPDO (installations on buildings and structures where the installation would not exceed 4 metres). How the LPA intend dealing with such installations that fall within the regulation should clearly be incorporated into the SPG. Another illustration is Regulation 3.3(b):

The GPDO clearly sets out that any application for prior approval should be in accordance with the operators licence, thus any such application must be capable of reducing 'hazards', it would therefore not be unreasonable if an LPA imposed a condition in line with the Reg 3.3(b).

One of the greatest problems for local authorities is knowing the extent of emission levels of existing installations, in order that they can best determine what the overall effect will be of additional installations. However, for a relative low price in comparison with the peace of mind of local residents, and the increased ability to police violations of the emission guidelines, an instrument called the 'Area Monitor' can be purchased that enables all emissions to be monitored 24/7. The information can then be sent direct from the monitor by modem to a computer to be automatically converted to charts, and other visual aids, thereby allowing officers and members to get instance updates of emission peaks and lows right across the borough. The information can also be placed automatically on the authorities WEB site thus enabling the public to make use of the information. The cost of the Area Monitor ranges from £8,000 to £15,000, however compared to the fees charged by the NRPB (currently in the region of £5,000) for a single visit that at best will only give a snap shot of emission levels at that moment in time, the cost is modest. Information on the Area Monitor is included at Appendix 'A' (Planning Sanity has no connection with the commercial suppliers of this equipment).

In the recent judgement of Mr Justice Sullivan in Jane Lee v Secretary of State for the Environment and Orange PCS PCS LTD[2004] EWHC 512 (Admin) the question of the Beam of Greatest Intensity (BGI) was raised, whilst the Claimant in that case failed to raise the issue before the inspector, the judge makes it clear that it would in appropriate circumstances be a valid ground, indeed he referred to it as "one of the principle issues":-

The judge also makes the point the the LPA failed to raise the issue of the BGI, indicating that it was a legitimate question for the LPA. The BGI is a useful indication, although not a precise science, of the potential area (range) of concern. It is therefore a worthwhile aspects in judging the potential harm that an installation might have on local communities, or more importantly on sensitive locations, where such locations are clearly outside of the BGI then less weight might need to be attached to the concerns of the public.

The question of health concerns will always be of importance in the decision-making process, whilst we deal with this in a separate briefing, it is important in relation to the question of policy structures that LPAs understand the extent of their obligations to take the concerns of the public into account in their determinations. In Susan Trevett v First Secretary of State the judge made it clear that it would fetter the obligation of the LPA to take the concerns of the public into account if they stop at the ICNIRP certificate. This point has since been conceded by the Secretary of State in Yasmin Skelt v First Secretary of State. It is therefore clear that if the LPA blindly follow the advise in para 30 of PPG8 and fail to consider how much weight to attach to health concerns simply because an ICNIRP certificate was supplied would be likely to find the decision overturned by the Courts. The question of the certificate cannot be ignored, providing the LPA undertake the correct tests, and allocate the appropriate weight to the concerns of the public and the presence of the certificate, in the context of all the circumstances of the case, then they will be acting fully within the law.

The question of alternative sites also has to be fully taken into account, a useful case in this respect is Jodie Phillips v First Secretary of State [2003] EWHC 2415 (Admin) and others. Where Mr Justice Richards at para 41 sets out:

Whilst the issue of health is again set out by the court as a ground for refusal in the special circumstances set out in para 41, it is important to note the degree of consideration that must be applied to alternative sites.

Many insurance companies are reluctant to provide cover for public liability for mobile phones and telecommunication installations. Lloyds of London particularly recommends to members that it would be a bad risk to insure against the likelihood of emissions adversely affecting health. Set out below is a typical clause inserted into policies relating to mobile phones:

Councils should be aware of the risk that placing installations on Council Property, as well as the risks as employers they run from emissions beaming into workplaces. Even where the installation is not on their property, and they fail to take reasonable precautions to protect staff and visitors.

The roll-out of the TETRA network, although ostensibly for the emergency services, requires special considerations than other systems. The latest figures indicate that at least 307 police officers have reported ill as a direct consequence of using TETRA handsets, these figures have been supplied by local branches of the Police Federation, The Lancashire Federation surveying its members had 177 state that had symptoms that they believed were associated with the use of TETRA hand sets. It has now come to light that at least one serving police officer has died from cancer that is believed by his family to have been as a direct result of the use of his TETRA handset. It is also alleged that a further 4 Northern Ireland officers have contracted the same cancer which is stated by the medical profession to be rare, and a further former English officer has also alleged to have died from the same cancer, all contracted it is stated at the same point of the body just below where the handsets are strapped.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) (formally Medical Devises Agency) in tests demonstrated that TETRA handsets interfered with medical equipment in 47% of tests, and that 23% of those results were serious. Specific concern was raised in relation to the effect on hearing aids and heart pacemakers. It has been known, for some considerable time that TETRA interferes with sensitive electronic equipment, indeed the Trafford Centre in Manchester was found on one occasion to have dozens of locking systems frozen, with the AA reporting that they were aware of dozens of other sites where similar effects are know to have happened. These issues are often ignored within the planning process, however, these effects could be seen to be material considerations, especially if sites were close to any premises that had sensitive electronic or life saving equipment.

For all the above reasons we would urge your authority to adopt a policy structure that is aimed at ensuring the protection of local residents. Not simply in relation to the question of health, but generally in relation to affording those most affected by the development a fair and appropriate say in the decision-making process. Should your authority wish to take advantage of Planning Sanity's considerable wealth of expertise in the telecoms planning processes then please do not hesitate in contacting us, we are always prepared to meet with individual councillors, or to organise seminars/local inquiries in order that this important issue can be fully debated prior to the adoption of policies (however, unfortunately Planning Sanity do have to ask LPAs to fund our expenditure involved in such seminars/inquiries).

Please note that all court cases mentioned in this report can either be viewed from our WEB site or on request hard copies can be supplied.

DRAFT SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING GUIDANCE
TELECOMMUNICATIONS

NOTE: The provisions of the Planning and Compensation Act 2004 are such as to encourage SPG, and to incorporate such guidance into the statutory framework, although the provisions have not as yet been brought into effect.

This supplementary planning guidance sets out ………………… Borough Council’s concerns, requirements and approach regarding proposals for new and replacement telecommunications installations. The guidance relates to policies…………. in the ……………… Local Plan and will upon adoption be considered material considerations in all applications for prior approval and full planning permission, and where appropriate in any enforcement proceedings. The councils policies on the use of land owned or controlled by the authority is also set out, in order that the councils policies on mobile telecommunications developments are contained within a single document.

Whilst the Council accepts the need for telecommunications networks, the Council has two principal concerns relating to the installation of new masts. These are their possible effects on amenity and public health. The following approach is intended to ensure that these concerns are adequately addressed during the planning process.

The Operators Ten Commitments and the Traffic Light Scheme


At every stage of the process for both determination as to whether an application requires prior approval, or whether full planning permission should be granted, the Council will check whether the application passes the Operators Ten Commitment, and the tests set out within the Traffic Light Scheme. Any applications that are found to fail those tests will be passed to the Committee for determination when the Operator concerned will be expected to demonstrate why the application should be granted. If there is insufficient time for such information to be sought then the Committee will give consideration to rejecting the application for the failure on the part of the Operator to supply sufficient information to enable a decision in accordance with the law to be made. This will particularly apply where the Committee is restricted by the strict time limits imposed by the Prior Approval process. However, where the Committee are not restricted by time limits consideration will be given as to whether the more appropriate course will be to defer the decision pending receipt of the appropriate information.

The Council will where it is in the interests of good planning and the amenity of the area give consideration as to whether a Direction under Article 4 of the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 should be made for any named site or locality. Specific consideration will be given to the protection of those sites considered to be sensitive, and those sites where no other means of protection is available to the Council.

Legislation and Government policy


The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order (GPDO) 2001, sets out permitted development rights for telecommunications code system operators, including masts and other apparatus. Such developments are subject to a condition that requires the operator to satisfy through the prior approval procedure details of the siting and appearance of a proposed mast. The authority is also able to refuse approval where they consider that the development will pose a serious threat to amenity.
Note - The Courts have found that amenity includes the perception (or fear) that a development may cause ill health - see the Comments of Lord Aldous in Newport County Borough Council v Secretary of State for Wales - "However, there is a difference between local opposition and a perceived fear which it self could affect the amenity of the area" and Mr Justice Ouseley in R v Stockport MBC ex parte Smith "It is arguable that actual and perceived health risks are relevant to the siting of these masts, and that the latter was not taken into account".

Whilst the prior approval system is intended to be a fast track process, consecutive Planning Ministers have made it very clear in communications to local planning authorities that the consultation process "should be considered as full planning applications in all but name". Therefore, whilst this authority must determine such applications within the statutory 56 days the quality of the consideration, and the issues to be taken into account cannot be less than they would be should the application be one for full planning permission.

Government policy is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 8 (PPG8), Telecommunications, August 2001.

The Government places great emphasis on its well established national policies for the protection of the countryside and urban areas – in particular ‘. . Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, the Green Belts, and areas and buildings of architectural or historic importance.’ Priority will be given to the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Consideration should also be given to their cumulative effects, and opportunities to use existing structures should be maximised.

PRE-APPLICATION DISCUSSIONS


PPG8 strongly encourages pre-application discussions between operators and local planning authorities on proposals for the installation of new telecommunications masts. Such discussions should help to establish the context for a proposed installation, clarify the policy approach, identify information to be sought and work to be undertaken prior to submission, including technical and environmental constraints, and agree documentation to be submitted in support of an application.

Pre-application discussion may also involve other organisations with an interest in the proposed development, such as the Highways Agency, parish councils and residential or amenity groups. Where an installation could affect a feature of national or local interest, such as the area of outstanding natural beauty or a site of special scientific interest, the involvement of other bodies, such as the Countryside Agency, English Heritage or English Nature, may be helpful.

This council will set up a telecommunication forum, and invite representatives from Parish Councils, Operators, Residents Groups, Civic and Amenity Groups, along with statutory bodies to participate. The results of the Forum will be published at regular intervals in order to ensure there is a more open approach to the role out of telecommunications networks within the Borough.

In order to ensure that a planned roll out takes place, a borough wide database should be compiled of all sites within, and close to the borders of the borough. Such a database should include details of emission levels, noise levels, the name of the operator, the number of different operators sharing a site, and information on all complaints that relate to the specific site. The database should also include information on all installations that have bypassed the local planning processes, along with information on any sites identified for future use.

An applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed installation is in accordance with his licence, The Electronic Communications Code (Conditions and Restrictions) Regulations 2003 and the Electronic Communication Code. It will be particularly expected that Regulation 3.3(b) that all reasonable measures have been taken to minimise potential hazards at both the time of the installation, or within the foreseeable future. And that all has been done "in the interests of the safety of the public or public health" (obligation of OFCOM to put in place regulations - Communication Act 2003 Section 5(3)(d)) and that full account of "the vulnerability of children and of others whose circumstances appear in need of special protection" (obligation of OFCOM Section 3(4)(h) of the Communication Act 2003).

THE APPROVAL PROCESS


Information to accompany planning applications and applications for prior approval
The Borough Council will normally require applications for planning, prior approval and other permissions for new and replacement telecommunications installations to be supported by:

On receipt of all applications for planning permission and prior approval the local planning authority will check to ensure that sufficient information has been submitted to enable the decision maker to make a lawful determination, in particular the officer should ensure that the following documents are included:

The siting and appearance of telecommunications equipment should comply with the following in order to be acceptable:

In addition and without prejudice to other siting, design and landscaping issues, the development of telecommunication masts and equipment is likely to be considered inappropriate where:

When consideration proposals for telecommunications development regard will be had to technical and operational constraints on the siting and design of such development. Telecommunications and other receivers and transmitter will only be permitted where:

Furthermore, the Authority considers it prudent to adopt a precautionary approach to the siting of base stations in proximity to residential and other sensitive areas. Therefore in order to assist developers the following is a list of what may be considered a sensitive location. In such locations, new base stations will not normally be permitted unless sound planning grounds are found to exist and there are no other compatible sites available. Pre-application discussions will be helpful in identifying whether a site is considered sensitive.

This Authority in relation to telecommunication installations consider that sensitive locations are deemed to be anyplace where the beam of maximum intensity falls on any of the following:

On receipt of an application for determination as to whether prior approval is required, or for full planning permission the Council will inform the public and elected representatives by:

Compounds – the area around the base of masts is often populated with cabins and other associated equipment. This Authority recognises the operators need to secure these areas. However, the need for security must be balanced with the visual impact of any fencing/boundary treatment. Accordingly, sympathetic materials must be used and planting implemented around the base to mitigate the impact of the development.

It shall be a condition of all approved installations that an internationally recognized warning signs shall be placed on all apparatus, cabins, at regular intervals around the perimeter, and other places accessible to the public.

Developers are also reminded that significant radio interference with electrical equipment of any kind can be a material planning consideration.

The Council shall at all stages of an application have regard to its obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998, and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Principles.

HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS


Telecommunications base stations use and transmit electromagnetic waves. There is considerable public concern that such waves may have adverse effects on health.

In 1999, the Government asked the National Radiological Protection Board to set up the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones. This group, under the chairmanship of Sir William Stewart, published its report in 2000. The report concluded that 'The balance of evidence indicates that there is no general risk to the health of people living near to base stations on the basis that exposures are expected to be small fractions of the guidelines. However, there can be indirect adverse effects on their well-being in some cases.’ The report also said that the possibility of harm cannot be ruled out with confidence and that the gaps in knowledge are sufficient to justify a precautionary approach.

Health issues and public concern can in principle be material considerations in applications for planning permission and prior approval. It is for the local planning authority in the first instance (and ultimately the courts), having regard to the Stewart Group’s report and Government guidance, to determine what weight to attach to such considerations in any particular case (paragraph 29 PPG8).

This authority recognises that it is the 'Governments firm view' that health concerns should not be considered further if an ICNIRP compliant certificate is issued. This authority further recognises that Planing Policy Guidance is guidance that must be given due weight. This authority further recognises that the Secretary of State conceded that where one of his inspector's failed to fully consider health concerns due to the fact an ICNIRP compliant certificate had been produced had acted contrary to law. And further this authority recognises that the courts have found that to fail to fully consider health concerns of the public even where an ICNIRP compliant certificate was produced would fetter that authorities obligations to fully take into account health concerns. And will as such apply the correct degree of weight in accordance with the law as stated by the courts (and PPG8 para 29) in determining every application for approval of telecommunication apparatus.

POLICING OF EMISSIONS

In order to facilitate judgements on the state of emissions generally across the borough and to enable better policing of excess emission levels, sufficient numbers of 'Area Monitors' will be obtained and sited in order to cover all areas of the borough. Decisions on planning applications and application to determine whether prior approval is required should be made against the emission levels known to exist from the information supplied by the Area Monitor. All information collated from the Area Monitors should be made publicly available through the existing local authority WEB site.

INSTALLATIONS ON COUNCIL OWNED OR CONTROLLED LAND OR BUILDINGS


This policy is applicable where mobile telecommunications equipment is to be sited on land or property owned by the Borough.

The mobile telecommunications operator will be expected to demonstrate that the installation is suitable for the proposed location. In order that the Council may fully consider this, the following information will be required:

  1. The Council should be given details of the proposed content and layout of the installation.
  2. Should the proposed installation be sited on a building or other structure owned or controlled by the Council, then details of the weight and other structural information of the equipment should also be given.
  3. Details of the likely emissions of the equipment should also be given, in order to demonstrate that the equipment does not pose an adverse health risk.

Should the proposed installation prove acceptable, then the Head of Corporate and Legal Services will submit a report to the appropriate Committee of the Council, seeking approval in principle to the siting of the installation. Following this consent and upon agreeing mutually acceptable Lease terms, the Council's formal approval to the transaction will be sought at the Corporate and Resources Committee of the Council whereby the Chief Legal Officer will be instructed to prepare the necessary documentation.

Telecommunications operators will meet all costs incurred by the Council in granting any lease for the siting of telecommunications apparatus. These costs will include the Surveyor's fees, Structural Engineer's fees (where applicable) and Legal fees.

Appendix 'A'

Draft Lease for Installations on Council Property

The following is a recommended lease that Councils might wish to adopt when allowing telecommunication installations on council owned or controlled property.

This lease is for a term of 10 year and shall be solely for the installation of the equipment contained with the Schedule. Any replacement, or additional equipment shall only be allowed with the express written consent of the Council.

The grant of this lease shall be for a consideration equal to the current Open Market Rental Value for the type of installation as set out in the Schedule. There shall be rent reviews based upon the Open Market Rental Value every 2 years.

The Lessee is to be responsible for all costs associated with the installation, e.g. power, rates, etc. and any other taxes or charges which are now or may in the future be levied against the installation.

The Lessee is to covenant with the Council to ensure that the installation does not cause interference to communications equipment which may already be on site, or any other similar site in close proximity to the site.

The Lessee is to ensure the installation in respect of any claims that may arise from the granting of the Lease, to a maximum sum, as recommended by the Council's Insurance Officer, in particular such insurance should include public liability including the risk of claims arising from emissions of what ever nature.

The Lessee is to provide a Risk Assessment of the installation at any point during the tenancy that the council so requests. Such assessment shall be undertaken by an independent assessor nominated by the Council, and shall include an assessment of those risks, real or perceived that the council so request.

Should evidence be forthcoming that the installation could become a public health danger, then the Lease is to be forfeited with immediate effect. Upon notification of forfeiture then no further transmissions or reception of signals shall take place and all equipment shall be removed within 28 days, or within such other longer period determined at the time by the Council.

All equipment to be installed on the site shall have permanently attached to it internationally recognized warning signs, notices shall also be attached containing the name of the mobile telecommunications operator and a contact telephone number. Further warning signs and notices shall be attached to any point where the public might gain access, of pass close to the Compound, or installation.

A photographic schedule of condition of the site, and surrounding area and site access points is to be made prior to the equipment being installed.

The Lessee will covenant that he will return the property to the Council in the same condition at the commencement of the Lease (as supported by the photographic schedule mentioned in above) upon the installation being removed.

APPENDIX 'B'

Monitor keeps track of RF emissions

The new 2600 area monitor system from Link Microtek enables continuous remote monitoring of RF radiation levels in the vicinity of mobile phone basestations and other communications antenna sites.

The new 2600 area monitor system from Link Microtek enables continuous remote monitoring of RF radiation levels in the vicinity of mobile phone basestations and other communications antenna sites.
Manufactured by Narda Safety Test Solutions, the 2600 system provides a constant stream of accurate data and represents a major step forward from one-off manual measurements, which are both time-consuming and expensive because of the need for an engineer to visit the site.
In addition, the system picks up time-related variations in RF radiation levels, which could easily be missed by conventional measurements.
For example, antenna power levels may rise significantly at different times of the day, depending on the amount of call traffic.
With the 2600 system, data are collected on site by the area monitor units and then, at user-defined times, transmitted via a GSM link to a central computer.
Special AMS 2600 software on the computer is used toanalyse the data and present it in an easy-to-read graphical format, and this information can then be made available to the general public via the Internet, for example.
Each 2600 area monitor unit is completely self-contained and requires only minimal maintenance.
Powered by a combination of solar panels and rechargeable batteries, the area monitor includes an RF radiation probe to suit the requirements of the particular application, a large internal memory that stores up to 18 months of data (depending on the type and frequency of measurements being made), and a GSM modem to allow communication with the central computer or text messaging to specified mobile phones.
Stored data are downloaded to the central computer either automatically at preprogrammed times or manually in response to a remote command.
The area monitor can also be set up to automatically call the central computer and text up to ten mobile phones in the event of an alarm condition, eg if the RF field level exceeds a user-specified threshold, the case has been opened or the battery level is low.
The AMS 2600 software running on the central computer is used to configure area monitor parameters such as alarm thresholds, data acquisition rate, measurement type and data transfer times.
Once downloaded into the computer, data can be stored for future reference, analysed and printed out in a variety of formats, or exported into other applications for further analysis and presentation.

Further details from - http://www.electronicstalk.com/news/lib/lib117.html

Planning Sanity have no connection or commercial interest in the above product.

APPENDIX 'C'

Links to Other Council Supplementary Planning Guidance - Telecommunications
(Planning Sanity makes no recommendations or comment on the following documents)

More and more LPAs are now implementing SPG, however, it is of concern that many, including some of those above are not dealing with the health issue in accordance with the law, but are still sticking to the ICNIRP certificate as a brick wall to health considerations, community groups and elected members therefore should challenge any such failure to put in place good and appropriate guidance.

© Planning Sanity - July 2004 (can be freely used by local communities within their campaigns. Publication by third parties is permitted providing acknowledgement of Planning Sanity is given).

Top of Page


THIS CAMPAIGN IS FUNDED FROM YOUR DONATIONS - PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY

FUNDRAISING SECTION