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Telecommunications Guidelines Reveiw

Declan Brassil & Co. advised the Irish Cellular Industry Association (ICIA) of IBEC in respect of a review the DoEHLG Guidelines (July 1996) titled Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures Guidelines for Planning Authorities.

The Irish Cellular Industry Association (ICIA) is a trade association representing the mobile operators in Ireland Telefonica O2 Ireland Ltd., Vodafone Ireland, Meteor Mobile Communications and Hutchison 3G Ireland Ltd (3). The key objectives of the ICIA are to provide a key source of industry information, to enhance competencies in standards development, to develop media and public integrity on behalf of the mobile industry in Ireland, and to respond to and influence forces that are driving the industry both in Ireland and globally.

The purpose of the review was to establish and communicate the policy, legislative and technological factors which are influencing the development of a national mobile communications network. The case for the review of the Guidelines was supported by advances in technology and administrative and legal developments including the establishment of ComReg and the Planning and Development Act 2000. Significantly, the number of licenced operators has also doubled from 2 in 1996 to 4 currently in response to national policy commitments in respect of coverage, capacity and competition in the sector. These factors combined have had, and will have, a significant influence on the physical and spatial development requirements of mobile telephony infrastructure over the coming decade.

Within this context, and having regard to experience of the operation of the planning system, a detailed report was prepared and submitted to the DoEHLG which identified issues arising in the implementation of the 1996 Guidelines which it was considered require to be addressed in revised Guidelines. While it was generally considered that the broad thrust of the Guidelines should be retained, a compelling basis for a review of the Guidelines was presented on the basis of experience of policy formulation and its application and interpretation at local authority level which in many instances have proven be contrary to the intention of the Guidelines and have acted as constraints to the implementation of national policy.
The Report is currently being considered by the DoEHLG.


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