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Telecoms code review report published – University of Reading

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Telecoms code review report published

Release Date 02 March 2006

mobile phonesThe introduction of a Code of Best Practice has made a significant improvement in community consultation for planning for mobile network development, a study published today has revealed. The study, conducted by the University of Reading and Arup on behalf of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), reviewed the operation and effectiveness of the voluntary Code, introduced in 2002. The key conclusions reveal that where telecommunication operators and their agents comply with the Code, it is considered to be working well, but that local planning authority compliance with the Code and involvement in planning for mobile network development can vary considerably. The researchers also found that some community consultees feel that the Code, as currently drafted, does not offer them sufficient assurance that their comments and concerns will actually be taken on board by the operators. Researchers are now recommending a revision of the Code to further improve many of the positive aspects. Recommendations include strengthening the Code and further formalising the status of some of the guidance, together with the establishment of an independent adjudication body to consider complaints ODPM Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "People need to have confidence in the planning system, and to know that we are listening to their concerns and responding to them. The review makes clear the Code of Best Practice has had a significant positive impact and this is being further strengthened as awareness of the Code and its requirements becomes further established. "However, the expectations of the general public have moved on and the guidance needs updating and improving in some areas. We are in the process of considering what improvements will help create a system that better meets the public's expectations for consultation." end Notes for editors 1. ODPM published the Code of Best Practice on Mobile Phone Network Development in November 2002. The Code was produced jointly by central and local government and the mobile phone industry. It provides advice on consultation procedures between operators, local authorities and local people. The Code of Best Practice can be found at http://www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1144926 2. The Code was produced to provide clear and practical advice to ensure the delivery of significantly better and more effective communication and consultation between operators, local authorities and local people. 3. The Code's advice on good location and design of telecommunications development should also help direct development to the most appropriate locations and to help minimise environmental impact and intrusion. 4. In September 2004 ODPM commissioned the University of Reading and Arup to undertake an independent study to assess, the impact that the Code has had since its introduction, how local authorities have implemented the Code and how the public perceives its operation. The report can be found at http://www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1145394 Media Enquiries: 020 7944 3049 Out of Hours: 020 7944 5945 E-mail: press.office@odpm.gsi.gov.uk Public Enquiries: 020 7944 4400 ODPM website: http://www.odpm.gov.uk

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