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Planning reform on telecoms masts

A change in planning law could see the Island's mobile phone operators involved in a lengthy planning process in future.

Next week Tynwald will be asked to approve a new order bringing applications for telecoms masts in line with the procedure for normal developments.

At present, Manx Telecom benefits from permitted development rights, a fast-track route to gaining permission for erecting masts, with no rights of appeal by the public or the need to display planning notices.

If passed, consultation with local authorities and highways chiefs will become compulsory.

Potential health risks will be considered in each case, and appeal rights introduced.

Notices will also have to be displayed on-site and in the press.

The change will mean Manx Telecom and Cable & Wireless face the same planning procedure when seeking permission to erect phone masts.

In a statement Customer Service and Technology Diretor at Manx Telecom Mike Loundes said the company develops and operates public networks in compliance with Manx legislation and international guidelines. 

Mr Loundes said the company had co operated with the planning department over the proposed change to existing Permitted Development legislation and supported the more open and transparent approach. 

Director of Planning at the Department of Infrastructure Michael Gallagher:

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