Planning Portal

DCAN 14: Siting and Design of Radio Telecommunication Equipment
Equipment Housing

3.27 Radio telecommunications equipment housing can range in size from a small cabinet to a purpose built cabin facilitating several operators. It can be placed within a building, underground, on the ground or on a rooftop. The size of equipment housing for a macrocell base station can vary significantly. Equipment cabinets for microcell base stations are sometimes located within adjacent buildings, or incorporated into the supporting structure, such as the base of a lamppost. The equipment is connected to antennas via feeder cables. Keeping antennas and equipment housing close to one another reduces signal loss. However, in some instances separating the antennas and equipment housing may enable better siting, for instance by allowing the equipment housing to be located next to an existing track. Equipment housing can be painted to blend in with its background, disguised as street furniture in urban areas, or designed as a positive feature that complements the townscape.
3.28 In rural areas existing landscape features such as planting or rocky outcrops can provide screening. New planting can also help to screen equipment housing. In sensitive locations, thought should be given to surrounding equipment housing with a well designed earth embankment or in the particular circumstances where adequate heat dissipation can be achieved and water ingress prevented then placing it partially or completely underground may be possible. In urban areas unobtrusive locations away from principal facades, important street frontages, prominent corner locations or any significant streetscape features are preferable. A free standing small equipment cabinet may look better when placed next to another item of street furniture, for example a bus shelter or telephone kiosk. Additional equipment housing is usually required where operators are sharing masts or rooftop sites. This should be well sited and in sensitive locations it may be necessary for operators to share a single purpose built equipment cabinet. In all cases cumulative impact will need to be considered.
A monopole mast with equipment cabinet
A monopole mast with equipment cabinet
3.29 Equipment housing placed on footpaths must not be sited so as to impede pedestrian movement. Sufficient space must be left for all members of the public to pass without hindrance, particularly those with mobility difficulties.
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