Planning matters

A radio amateur working at height on an antennaHelp for RSGB members to obtain planning permission for their aerials.

As any amateur knows, the factor most likely to ensure success in amateur activities is the aerial. Most amateur aerials require planning permission from the local Council.

It follows that the consequences for an amateur of the Council refusing planning permission can be quite severe, ranging from a virtual prevention of operation to a much reduced tower height, a smaller HF beam or whatever.

To try to help Members make their way through the planning process, the Society established the Planning Advisory Committee and a Panel of members skilled in the planning process.

What needs permission?

Strictly speaking most antenna systems require planning permission unless the installation falls under one or more of the following categories.

  • The antenna is considered ‘permitted development’ (usually types similar to TV antennas and ground mount antennas up to three metres in height, etc. but some local councils allow more)
  • The antenna/mast has been present for four years or more and you can prove it. A confirmation letter from your neighbours is usually enough (single residential development only)
  • The antenna/mast is present for less than 28 days per annum
  • The antenna/mast is truly mobile

Resources Available

The following resources are available to RSGB members:

Conclusions

Provided you are reasonable in what you want—a 100 foot tower with tribander in the 20 foot long garden of a terraced house would not be—many amateurs are  successful provided they go about it in the right way.

Keeping the neighbours on your side is vital but Panel members have successfully taken on many cases where there has been a substantial volume of neighbour objection and still gained permission. By law, the presumption is in favour of development so do not be deterred by what you think the planners will approve.  There may be some effort and cost involved but satisfaction has always been being 40 over 9 into SP. I’m talking 23cm here of course. The Committee and Panel is here to try to help you do this.

Please note that this service is only available to RSGB Members. For further information please e-mail ar.deptspacersgb.org.uk