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Mobile operators welcome publication of National Planning Policy Framework

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Mobile operators welcome publication of National Planning Policy Framework

 27 March 2012

The mobile network operators welcome the publication, today, of the National Planning Policy Framework and in particular its presumption in favour of sustainable development and encouragement of the expansion of telecommunications networks.  

John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association (MOA) said: “Mobile telecommunications are a vital part of our national infrastructure, bringing significant benefits to individuals, communities and businesses. They are as important to today’s digital, knowledge economy as canals and railways were to the first industrial revolution. It’s essential, therefore, that the planning system does not hinder the infrastructure that supports mobile communications.”  

The MOA strongly welcomes the fact that the Framework specifically encourages Local Planning Authorities to support the expansion of electronic communications networks; and that it reiterates previous guidance that; “Local planning authorities must determine applications on planning grounds. They should not seek to prevent competition between different operators, question the need for the telecommunications system, or determine health safeguards if the proposal meets International Commission guidelines for public exposure.”  

John Cooke added; “While each new telecoms proposal is, in itself, generally a small-scale development, all telecommunications developments are part of a wider inter-dependent national network, which is essential to the UK’s economic and social development. It’s important to balance local input into planning with the need to ensure that we don’t have a patchwork quilt of differing local rules that would hinder the national network. Mobile network operators remain committed to responsible network development and will continue to work with local planning authorities in bringing the many benefits of mobile communications to communities across the country.”

Notes for Editors  

1.   The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.  

2. Mobile telecoms are increasingly used in commerce to improve UK companies' competitiveness, effectiveness and delivery.  There are now over 81 million mobile connections in the UK. Over 4.8 million customers now access mobile broadband services via a laptop and dongle, and 28 per cent of UK adults use their mobile phones for internet access.  

3. Previous guidance on planning matters relating to mobile telecommunications masts was contained in PPG8.  

4. The full text of the MOA’s submission in response to the draft NPPF (October 2011) can be found at:  

5. For more information please contact Christine Jude 0207 331 2029, 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it