LGA Submission – Proposed reforms to permitted development rights to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage, November 2019

Instead of pushing for more permitted development, Government must continue to work with local government and the mobile industry to share best practice and guidance to help the streamlined deployment of mobile infrastructure within the current planning regime to allow communities to engage in the development of their local areas.ission – Proposed reforms to permitted development rights to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage. November 2019


Key messages

  • It is now widely accepted that access to fast and reliable digital connectivity is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. It is something residents and businesses expect in their premises; a vital component for supporting growth in urban and non-metropolitan areas, and an enabler of public sector digital transformation.
  • Local government has been a key player in the roll-out of improved digital connectivity to the hardest to reach areas over the last five years. It has partnered with broadband providers to extend coverage to local communities via the Superfast Broadband, Rural Gigabit Connectivity and Local Full Fibre Networks programmes and has worked closely with mobile network operators and local communities to find the best locations for new mobile infrastructure.
  • Weakening planning control and increasing permitted development rights takes away the ability of residents, businesses and councillors to contribute in a meaningful way to the deployment of new or upgraded masts, sites and infrastructure. It severely limits the opportunity for local planning authorities to negotiate reasonable amendments to make deployments more acceptable, and circumvents local plans preventing the properly managed development of a place.
  • There remains a balance to be struck between the economic and social benefits of improved digital connectivity and the harmful impacts that some infrastructure can have on local areas. Whilst allowing the deployment of a 30-metre mast in an area of challenging topography might result in a reduction of other infrastructure locally, this does not mean that the universal use of 30-metre masts would be acceptable to all residents across the country.
  • Instead of pushing for more permitted development, Government must continue to work with local government and the mobile industry to share best practice and guidance to help the streamlined deployment of mobile infrastructure within the current planning regime to allow communities to engage in the development of their local areas.

Download the submission
LGA Submission – Proposed reforms to permitted development rights to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage, November 2019