DCMS launches consultation on Siting Requirements

DCMS launches consultation on Siting Requirements

Last week saw the launch of the DCMS Consultation on the proposal that, for five years, broadband street cabinets and new poles can be installed under permitted development rights in any location (except SSSIs) without the need for prior approval from local planning authorities. The full Consultation document can be found here.

The timing comes as the delivery of the Government’s ambition to have the best superfast network in Europe by 2015 rolls on. The consultation cites that for any one location it is expected that superfast broadband could create between £143 million and £19.8 billion in additional GVA, and we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on this.

Consultation Questions

1. Do respondents agree with the proposal to extend the relaxation of the restriction on the deployment of overhead infrastructure to protected areas, and to remove the prior approval requirement for protected areas?

2. Approximately how much new network will be built using the overhead line change, in terms of new poles and kilometres of lines? Do you agree with the assumptions and cost savings set out in the consultation stage impact assessment (annex A)? Are there any other costs or benefits that you think should be included in this assessment?

3. Do respondents agree with the proposed consultation arrangements for the deployment of apparatus in protected areas?

4. Do you agree that the duration of the proposed changes being limited to 5 years?

5. DCMS welcome feedback on how any aspect of the proposals outlined in this consultation should be achieved.

Over the coming weeks, we at the Broadband Stakeholder Group will be working with our members and the on a response to this consultation, thinking through the proposal’s effectiveness as a policy development that removes non-sector specific regulatory barriers and promotes conditions for investment. Watch this space for our response.

Do get in touch if you have any views or evidence you’d like to share with us – email Charlotte Holloway, Policy Manager on [email protected].