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Planning Market Insight Report: 378 per cent increase in Prior Approval of Telecoms Operators applications 2019 – 2020

by on February 18, 2021

Despite a global pandemic, local and national lockdowns, and an increased voice of conspiracy theorists, the number of applications for Prior Approval of Telecoms Operators throughout England and Wales in 2020 saw the largest increase in popularity with the six-month period between March and August 2020 realising the greatest growth.

This mass surge in popularity is due, in the most part, to the development and current investment in the 5G infrastructure by UK Telecoms operators. This is in line with the government’s 5G strategy, which sees this next generation of mobile technology as a way to revolutionise the way we connect, aiming for majority UK coverage by the end of 2027.

Chris Taylor, Senior Planner at Mono Consultants, one of the top online submitters of Prior Approval for Telecoms Development applications via the Planning Portal commented:

Mono work on behalf of all the major operators, as well as the emergency services and this massive increase in prior approval applications demonstrates our client’s commitment to investing in essential infrastructure to support the UK’s connectivity needs. Especially during these difficult times, this tremendous effort to try and gain planning for base stations in sometimes challenging environments has been made as the industry continue to work despite COVID-19 restrictions. Now more than ever, the Government recognises the importance of connectivity and 5G rollout, with its vast array of social and economic benefits it brings, as we all seek to recover and move out of the pandemic.”

Latest research from Mobile UK shows that there is growing concern as to the impacts the 5G network will have on our health. Almost half those surveyed were unsure about the negative health risks with 3% actively against the implementation. The uncertainty around this has been prominent enough that Mobile UK have launched their new #5GCheckTheFacts campaign to help ensure the nation that extensive research has been carried out and no ill effects have been seen.

To understand the full extent of the implementation of the 5G infrastructure, this month’s report also includes comment from Andrew Neilson, Senior Manager of New Sites at Openreach about the organisation’s experience in enabling connections to new homes in 2020.

As always, the report includes a wealth of insight into other areas of development. In line with last year’s applications trend, January achieved an increase of 19% compared to 2019 and sets a record all-time monthly high! This edition’s regional review focuses on the Greater London Authorities, reviewing application submissions to the 35 London Boroughs and Development Corporations within the Greater London area and we take a more in depth look at the causes of ever-increasing planning application fees. The report is hosted in a new digital format and is now only available to registered customers. If you would like to access the FREE report, please sign up here.

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