Written answers

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Communications Masts

Photo of Pádraig O'SullivanPádraig O'Sullivan (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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123. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will review the legislation and licensing process which allows intrusive mobile phone masts to be erected without planning permission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9098/21]

Photo of Peter BurkePeter Burke (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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Under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended (the Act), all development, unless specifically exempted under the Act or associated Regulations, requires planning permission.

In this regard, Class 31 of Schedule 2 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, as amended, provides that certain classes of development carried out by a statutory undertaker authorised to provide a telecommunications service are, subject to specified conditions, exempted development from the requirement to obtain planning permission. Where the conditions and size thresholds specified in the exemption class are not complied with or are exceeded, planning permission is required.

Exemptions from the requirement to obtain planning permission in respect of specific forms of development are provided for when they are considered to be consistent with proper planning and sustainable development.

These arrangements are considered appropriate for the purpose of supporting the roll-out of a high quality communications service while also taking account of the ongoing technological advances in this area. The legislative provisions are supplemented by planning guidelines entitled the Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structure Guidelines, which originally issued to planning authorities in 1996. In 2012, my Department issued Circular Letter PL07/12 to planning authorities, updating certain sections of these Guidelines. The Guidelines provide advice on appropriate location and siting considerations for telecommunication installations and masts to be considered in the development planning and development management process. The Guidelines, and subsequent Circular Letter, are available at the following links:




I have no current plans to amend the regulations in this matter.


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