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  • Significant Updates to Telecommunication Planning Guidelines

    The Minister of the Environment, Community and Local Government has issued an update in relation to certain sections of the Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures Guidelines (1996) which planning authorities use to draft planning policies and assess planning applications.  The purpose of the updates is to support the planning system in facilitating the objectives set out under the National Broadband Plan. There are a number of significant changes included in these updates:

    Planning authorities should not include separation distances (i.e. from houses, protected structures, schools etc) in development plans as they prevent case-by-case analysis and can inadvertently have a major impact on the roll out of a viable and effective telecommunications network.  This will have implications for a number of planning authorities around the country who include specific distances, often up to 1 kilometre, from schools, houses etc.  It will also have implications for local communities who wish to object to proposed masts as they often could rely on policies which required such separation distances to be met in order to get the application refused.

    Planning authorities are advised that conditions limiting the life of telecommunication masts and antennae to a set temporary period should cease, except in exceptional circumstances.  The temporary nature of permissions meant that resident groups had the comfort that they could challenge any new application when the temporary period was finished.  This option will be removed as the structures will be permitted on a permanent basis.

    A register of approved telecommunications structures supported by relevant databases is to be created and maintained by each planning authority in cooperation with operators. Such a register would provide a useful input to the assessment of future telecommunications developments and would also be useful from the point of view of maximising the potential for future mast sharing and co-location.

    Rather than a bond, future permissions should simply include a condition stating that when the structure is no longer required it should be demolished, removed and the site re-instated at the operators’ expense.

    The Minister also included two reminders to planning authorities, namely that health grounds should not be considered as part of a planning application and, all future Development Contribution Schemes must include waivers for broadband infrastructure provision as per the recent draft guidelines on development contributions.

    Published on November 13, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Guidelines; Tagged as: , , ,

2 Responses to “Significant Updates to Telecommunication Planning Guidelines”

  1. David Flanagan said on

    Hi David , thank you for the information on telecommunication masts. having successfuly challenged a major communication mast site I understand the importance of this information. Thank you again for posting

  2. Mary Doherty said on

    Has these updates come into law? And what is the Dublin City Council position on this issue?

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