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'No statutory need to consult neighbours'.

A spokeswoman for Cardiff council explained the planning rules regarding mobile phone masts. She said: "Most telecommunications masts and associated apparatus are permitted development requiring a prior approval from the council to determine whether the siting and design of masts are acceptable. Cardiff council has 56 days to consider an application, otherwise there is deemed consent. "There is no statutory requirement to consult neighbours, although it is considered good practice and the council exceeds this by also consulting with local councillors and displaying a site notice. "The council has limited grounds on which to object to a proposal. In relation to their visual impact, the amenity of local people may be protected as far as is practicable taking account of relevant planning case law.

"With regard to health issues, companies are required to sign a certificate to confirm masts comply with ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) regulations.

"There are currently no guidelines or policies for Cardiff specifying the minimum distance between a telecommunications mast and a school or residential development.

"Due to the restricted time scales, many of these prior approval applications cannot be reported to planning committee. The development manager has delegated powers to approve such applications, although if there is an objection to an application, the decision is made in consultation with the chairman of the planning committee."
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 9, 2007
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