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24 July 2013

A new Code of Best Practice on Mobile Network Development in England has been published today, to replace the previous Code, published in 2002.

The Code provides guidance to mobile network operators, their agents and contractors, and to local planning authorities. Since the previous version of the Code was drawn up, there have been significant changes in planning policy and law, in technology, in the way we use mobile devices, and in the structure of the mobile industry. The revised Code has been developed by a Working Group consisting of representatives of: Arqiva; the Department for Communities and Local Government; the Department for Culture Media and Sport; the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; English Heritage; the Mobile Operators Association; National Parks England (also representing the Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty); and the Planning Officers Society. 

John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association, said: "A decade after the original Code was introduced it needed revision to reflect the fact we live in a society where mobile devices are ubiquitous – most mobile phones today are Internet-enabled smartphones, and many people also now own tablet devices. We wanted a new Code that reflects that, meets the needs of planners, of network operators, and most importantly works for communities.”

Mike Kiely, President of the Planning Officers Society, said: “The 2002 Code has served us well, but more than ten years later is in need of updating to reflect the changes in the planning regime and developments in mobile technology. We have worked hard to ensure the planning essentials of minimised environmental impact and visual intrusion are maintained without preventing the appropriate development of mobile infrastructure, which is integral to society today.“

John Cooke said: “We wanted to keep the best of the old, while making sure the Code would be relevant for future developments in technology. Operators will continue to consult with planners and communities and share sites wherever possible.”

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Notes to Editors

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – EE (the company that runs EE, Orange & T-Mobile in the UK), O2, Three, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology.

2. The new Code: highlights the role of connectivity in society; sets out the respective roles of national government, local authorities, and network operators in telecommunications planning; and sets out good practice in the planning process. Detailed guidance is contained in a series of appendices. The new Code is available at: Code of Best Practice on Mobile Network Development

3. Members of the Working Group were: Arqiva http://arqiva.com/ the Department for Communities and Local Government https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-communities-and-local-government the Department for Culture Media and Sport https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-culture-media-sport the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs English Heritage http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/ the Mobile Operators Association; National Parks England http://www.nationalparksengland.org.uk/ and the Planning Officers Society http://www.planningofficers.org.uk/

4. For more information please contact Christine Jude 07736 110787

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