SSE’s telecoms upgrade brings planning challenges

By Catherine Newton, Planning Consultant, Bell Ingram Design

Work has now started on the installation of new SSE telecoms equipment at Glendale on Skye for which Bell Ingram Design has provided planning advice and secured the necessary planning consent.

This is the first in a programme of essential works to upgrade the SSE network connections between electricity sub stations throughout the UK.

The firm has provided advice on the requirement for consents and obtained planning permission for 10 sites to date, on both existing sub-station and new rural sites stretching from the Isle of Harris to Hampshire.

Works have included towers, poles, control cabins and access tracks, which by necessity are often in remote and exposed locations. This requires careful siting and reasoned justifications in order for the local planning authority to be able to support the principle of the development.

However, weather and geography aren’t the only factors which present significant challenges when installing telecoms equipment throughout the UK.

There are also variations in the requirements for planning consents in different locations, as well as differences between permitted development rights in Scotland and England for telecoms equipment.

The same size and design of ground-based mast permitted in Havant for example may require express planning consent on the Isle of Skye because of this size, design or sensitive location such as a national scenic area and depending on the permitted development rights afforded to the applicant.

The planning application fee can also vary depending on what equipment is being proposed and where, with some Local Planning Authorities even apply different fees for the same proposals.

It is therefore always as well to take advice on any telecoms development proposed to provide certainty on what consents, supporting information and fees are required in order to avoid undue delays with your project.

➤Contact Catherine Newton, Bell Ingram Design, for further advice. Tel. 01738 621 121 or email

Catherine Newton

Planning Consultant
Tel: 01738 621 121

Article posted on 19/08/2019

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