DCAN 14: Siting and Design of Radio Telecommunication Equipment
6.0 Emergency Development
6.1 In the event of an emergency, which results in telecommunications apparatus becoming unserviceable, moveable temporary emergency equipment can be put in place to allow the continuation of operations. Under the Planning (General Development) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2003, code system operators must notify the Department in writing as soon as possible (not later than 3 working days thereafter) after the emergency begins, stating the nature of the emergency. Emergency equipment can only be used for a maximum period of six months. An ICNIRP certificate should be supplied with notification of use of emergency equipment. If the existing telecommunications apparatus is still not operational after six months any replacement structure or continued use of movable emergency equipment will require planning permission.
6.2 Emergency equipment is allowed as permitted development, but apparatus must conform to the following conditions where operationally practicable. Movable equipment must be located as close as possible to the existing unserviceable telecommunications apparatus. It must not exceed the height of the existing apparatus. At the expiry of the relevant period1 it should be removed from the land and the land restored to its condition before the development took place.
6.3 The cause of equipment failure can mean it is not always possible to locate moveable emergency apparatus adjacent to the existing equipment. Damage caused by for example explosion, flooding, or land slippage might mean locating temporary equipment off site. An explanation for an offsite location must be submitted in writing to the Department with the notification of the requirement to use emergency equipment.
6.4 When emergency equipment is no longer needed it must be removed and the site left in good order at the operator’s expense. Code system operators are required to do this by the Telecommunication Act 19842 , however a condition may also be attached to any planning consent. The equipment, which should be removed, includes all cable runs, fixings and ancillary items, and all fixing holes should be made good. Any access tracks should also be returned to an appropriate natural state.
1 Relevant period means a period of which expires either 6 months from the commencement of the use of the emergency equipment or when the need for the use ceases, whichever occurs first.
2 Subject to changes in Telecommunications Act which is currently at a final draft stage.