Planning Portal

PPS 10: Telecommunications
Policy TEL 1

Policy Tel 1 Control of Telecommunications Development
The Department will permit proposals for telecommunications development where such proposals, together with any necessary enabling works, will not result in unacceptable damage to visual amenity or harm to environmentally sensitive features or locations.
Developers will therefore be required to demonstrate that proposals for telecommunications development, having regard to technical and operational constraints, have been sited and designed to minimise visual and environmental impact.
Proposals for the development of a new telecommunications mast will only be considered acceptable by the Department where the above requirements are met and it is reasonably demonstrated that:
  • the sharing of an existing mast or other structure has been investigated and is not feasible; or
  • a new mast represents a better environmental solution than other options.
Applications for telecommunications development by Code System Operators or broadcasters will need to include:
  1. information about the purpose and need for the particular development including a description of how it fits into the operator’s or broadcaster’s wider network;
  2. details of the consideration given to measures to mitigate the visual and environmental impact of the proposal; and
  3. where proposals relate to the development of a mobile telecommunications base station, a statement:
    • indicating its location, the height of the antenna, the frequency and modulation characteristics, details of power output; and  
    • declaring that the base station when operational will meet the ICNIRP guidelines for public exposure to electromagnetic fields.  
Where information on the above matters is not made available or is considered inadequate the Department will refuse planning permission

Justification and Amplification

6.1 The Department’s policy seeks to enable the telecommunications industry to expand its operations in a manner that keeps the visual and environmental impact of telecommunications equipment to a minimum. The aim is that the equipment should become an accepted and unobtrusive feature of urban and rural areas. This is in the long term interests of the industry, the economy and the people of Northern Ireland.
This section contains the following sub-categories.
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