Approving mobile phone masts
Mobile phone companies are granted a licence by central government under the Telecommunications Act 1984 which allows them to install their equipment (masts, cabinets) within the public highway, subject to approvals outlined below:
Our approvals (as highway authority)
The licence requires mobile phone companies to ensure their equipment doesn't cause safety hazard i.e. to ensure the masts and cabinets do not obscure visibility at junctions or obstructions to pedestrians.
District council (local planning authority) approvals.
Planning legislation requires mobile phone companies to follow a 42-day prior approval procedure before erecting masts. This requires the company to erect a notice on site and write to the district council. During this period the district council can require details of the siting and appearance of the equipment and can approve or refuse permission for the mast.
Any freestanding mast in excess of 15 metres in height requires planning permission from the district council irrespective of prior approval procedure.
Once erected, the care and maintenance of equipment is the responsibility of the company who owns or controls the equipment.