DCAN 14: Siting and Design of Radio Telecommunication Equipment
1.1 Modern telecommunications systems have a vital role to play in our everyday life in Northern Ireland and bring important economic and social benefits. In particular advanced telecommunications can help reduce our peripheral location in Europe and allow access to new markets. It has been the policy of successive Governments to extend the social and economic benefits of modern telecommunications technology throughout the UK. Further development of our telecommunications infrastructure is therefore essential to the continued success of this policy, particularly to support widespread and affordable access to broadband services. However, it is also essential that this infrastructure is delivered sensitively, keeping impact on the environment to a minimum.
1.2. The Department’s planning policy for telecommunications is set out in a Planning Policy Statement, PPS 10: Telecommunications. The main planning considerations that the Department will take into account in assessing proposals are set out in Policy TEL 1 of the PPS (see Annex A). The overall aim of the PPS is to ensure that new telecommunications infrastructure can be developed in a way, which continues to provide Northern Ireland with world class telecommunications services, while at the same time keeping environmental impact to a minimum. It advises that the telecommunications industry must devote greater attention to the siting and design of equipment. In addition the PPS addresses health issues associated with telecommunications development.
1.3 This Development Control Advice Note (DCAN) complements PPS 10 by providing guidance about how the industry can continue to expand its operations in a manner that minimises the visual and environmental impact of equipment and highlights examples of good practice from Northern Ireland and beyond.
1.4 The DCAN gives advice on the process of site selection and design and illustrates how equipment can be sensitively installed. It also explains why additional base stations are needed to serve the growth in customer demand and in response to changing technical requirements, including the third generation of mobile phones.
1.5 The DCAN is relevant to the full range of radio telecommunications equipment. This includes mobile, Fixed Radio Access (FRA), microwave link, television and radio broadcasting, paging, police, fire, ambulance, taxi and private telecommunication systems. Continued expansion of these systems is expected for the foreseeable future.