Telegraph poles installation causing disruption and distress to communities.

Ray Duffill made this Freedom of Information request to Cotswold District Council as part of a batch sent to 36 authorities Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was successful.

Dear Cotswold District Council,

The purpose of this FOI request is to gather evidence as to the distress and disruption caused in local communities as a result of the permitted development legislation, the operating practices of network builders (code operators) and the proliferation of telegraph poles (aka telecoms or utility poles or masts).
For each of the broadband network builder companies installing telegraph poles in your council area as permitted development, please answer the following:

1. The name of each network builder (code operator) operating in your area.
2. When was the first permit for a permitted development telegraph pole issued by the council (date)?
3. Up until 22nd November 2023 how many telegraph poles have been deployed in the the council boundary area by each company? And/or how many permits for telegraph poles have been granted to each network builder?
3. Since the deployment of telegraph poles started, how many complaints, whether written, emailed or by phone have been received by the council referencing telegraph poles and/or permitted development? The total number of complaints raised against each network builder company if possible to do so, please.
4. How many petitions have been raised by residents related to this issue?
5. How many permit violations have been recorded against each network builder company?
6. How many fines/penalty notices have been served on each each network builder company and what are the value of such i.e. the total number of all fines and the cost of a typical fine against each?
7. The Minister of State Julia Lopez wrote to all local planning authorities (LPAs) on 13 April 2023 and encouraged them to “let Ofcom know and provide them with evidence of any instances where operators are not adhering to their statutory obligations so that appropriate investigations can be made and action taken.”
a. Did the council report an operator to Ofcom?
b. If so, what was the outcome of such investigations?
8. In the same letter, the Minister informed LPAs that following 28 day notices issued by network builders, the LPA could set conditions with which you wish the operator to comply.
a. Did you set conditions on operators?
b. If so, what conditions did you set?
9. Has the council formally objected to the current permitted development legislation in any manner or form?

I hope this information will serve to identify if telegraph pole installation and the permitted development legislation have contributed to causing distress and disruption to local communities and also identify the steps that local authorities have taken to reduce such distress and disruption.

Yours faithfully,

Ray Duffill

Cotswold DC Customer Services, Cotswold District Council

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