Derry Area Plan 2011
Public Utilities: Telecommunications
Telecommunications apparatus which requires planning permission will normally be permitted, provided it does not detract from the natural or manmade environment or the character of its setting. The Department will have regard to the technical requirements of the apparatus and the potential impact of the development as set out below.
Within the development limits of the City, Plan Policy PU3 will apply. Outside the City limits, the Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland provides the policy on telecommunication development (Policy PSU 13).
It is recognised that modern telecommunications are an essential element in the life of the local community and in the national economy. The Department will seek to balance the need and demand for maintaining and developing telecommunications systems on the one hand and the protection of amenity on the other.
Some installations do not require planning permission under the Planning (General Development) Order (NI) 1993 as amended and Development Control Advice Note 14, “Telecommunications Prior Approval Procedures” gives guidance and advice on such matters. In the instances where planning permission is required, due to their potentially intrusive appearance, it is considered appropriate to control the siting and appearance of such installations.
Applications for planning permission for satellite and terrestrial micro-wave antennae will be determined taking into account the technical requirements of the apparatus, the effect on the appearance of any building or structure on which the apparatus is to be installed, the effects on the visual amenity and character of the area and the following guidelines:
- whenever possible, apparatus should be sited on the ground in a position which minimises its visual impact and shall be adequately screened from the street, public areas and adjoining properties by appropriate landscaping or walls;
- satellite dishes will not normally be permitted if they project above the highest point of the roof of a building or structure;
- wall mounted dishes should not normally be attached to any wall of a building or structure which fronts onto a highway and, in all cases, should be sited in the least obtrusive position and respect any architectural features of the building or structure;
- there will be a presumption against installations in Conservation Areas or on Listed Buildings where these would be readily visible and would adversely affect the character of the area or buildings;
- where because of technical requirements, the most ideal siting for antennae would result in a breach of these guidelines, the applicant should consider siting antennae in less obtrusive positions on adjoining buildings or sites and cabling the service to their premises;
- where appropriate, the equipment will be required to be coloured or painted so as to be less visually obtrusive in relation to the background against which it would be installed; and
- to prevent the unnecessary retention of obsolescent equipment and to monitor the condition of the installation in the interests of visual amenity permission will be granted in appropriate cases for a maximum period of five years.