Planning Portal

PPS 10: Telecommunications
Annex A: Accommodating Telecommunications Infrastructure in New Development

A1 The Department wishes to ensure, as far as is practicable, that the telecommunication needs of future occupiers of new developments are accommodated in an appropriate fashion in the design and layout of such development.
A2 Prospective developers of new housing areas, retail and office developments, community buildings and industrial areas should therefore consider at initial design stage with all relevant telecommunications operators how the future telecommunication needs of future occupiers will be met. Developers should provide adequate ducting for telecommunications cables (and for other services where appropriate) to be installed at the outset both underground and in the structure of the buildings proposed, sufficient to meet foreseeable demand for competitive services likely to be provided to those developments. This will help to minimise the disruption and expense if provision has to be made later, and can reduce the need for new telecommunications apparatus above ground.  Provision of such apparatus to serve the occupiers, such as communal or master antenna systems, should normally be the subject of close consultation and co-operation between the developer and the telecommunications operators.
A3 The development or alteration of tall buildings may provide the opportunity to incorporate antennas as an integral feature of the design of their building and developers are encouraged to consult on this matter with the telecommunications operators.
A4 In general, it is preferable to locate new cabling underground or along the external surfaces of buildings, but the method of distribution already prevailing in the area may be a relevant factor. Code system operators' licences contain specific provisions about the undergrounding of apparatus (with the exception of service lines), and about the need to service new development in close co-operation with the developer and the other utilities so that underground ducting for a number of undertakings can be provided during development or any existing suitable ducting used.
A5 Where provision for underground ducting of cables is not made available at the design and construction stage, it may not be possible for future occupiers of land to ensure that future wires are placed underground (that will be a matter for the operator). Even where it is possible, it may involve the occupier in considerable expense. It is therefore better to seek the installation of adequate ducting as part of the development at the outset. Telecommunications operators will normally wish to make use of it, if it is available and suitable for their purpose.  
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