Council urges telecoms regulator to take action on ‘ugly’ sites

Council bosses are urging national regulators to crackdown on “unsightly” telecommunications equipment following complaints about “ugly” installations.

Dudley Council is writing to the national body which regulates telecommunications industries to ensure sites are left “in a suitable condition”.

Cables, phone masts and other communications equipment can be installed without permission under national ‘permitted development’ legislation. But companies must have a permit and have to stick to strict timings for the work.

The council has been fining companies who over-run but has very little power to stop the installations.

Dozens of complaints from members of the public have been sent to elected members about poles, wires and trunking above ground level, which can make areas look untidy.

It includes installations in Withymoor in Brierley Hill as well as residential areas in Stourbridge.

The leader of Dudley Council has now asked planners to write to the regulators asking them to remind companies of the need to be “respectful” to communities when installing equipment. Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:

“I know a number of elected members have received complaints from members of the public that some of the equipment looks unsightly, particularly poles, cabling and trunking that goes above the ground.

““I understand people’s concerns, and while we are very limited on the powers we have to stop these installations, we need to make sure that companies know their responsibility to consider that people live and work here and have to look at this equipment and ensure sites are left in a suitable condition.

“I will not stand by and allow our borough to be blighted by this work which often looks very ugly. We are writing to the regulators to hammer home this important factor.”

Under permitted development rights, companies do not need permission from the council to install equipment, above, on or below the ground.

Telecommunications companies have to be registered and approved by Ofcom to use the permitted rights.


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