PPS 10: Telecommunications
Policy and Legislative Context: Other Interests
2.12 Free standing telecommunications masts, cabling and equipment housings are not subject to building regulations. Where however masts or equipment are attached to or placed on a building, building control approval may be required to cover any alterations to the building (for example if the roof structure has to be strengthened, or access is provided). Where telecommunications equipment is housed in a building containing other accommodation, building control approval may also be required. In either case the building control department of the local district council should be consulted.
Health and Safety Executive
2.13 Under the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) seeks to ensure that risks to people's health and safety arising from work activities and the way work is carried out are properly controlled (for example, during the installation and maintenance of antennas).
2.14 It is not for the planning system to replicate controls which exist under the health and safety regime. The enforcement of health and safety at work legislation is a matter for HSENI. If, once a particular telecommunications development is in operation, there is evidence that an operator is not meeting their statutory health and safety responsibilities in a particular case, HSENI may investigate and, if necessary, require action to be taken. Accordingly, following consultation, the Department and the HSENI have agreed that it is not necessary for the HSENI to be consulted on individual proposals for telecommunications development.
The National Radiological Protection Board
2.15 The National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) was established under the Radiological Protection Act 1970 to provide information and expert advice to Government and others in relation to protection from radiation hazards, to undertake supporting research and to provide technical services to those concerned with radiation hazards. Drawing upon the most up-to-date research worldwide the NRPB has produced a number of leaflets and other publications on the health implications of electromagnetic fields, including advice on mobile phone emissions. This information is available at http://www.nrpb.org/ also be obtained by ringing their public enquiry line (01235 831600).