Utility and telecoms streetworks

Utility works on the highway and adopted land

To provide and maintain their networks and to deliver services to customers, utility and telecommunication companies have legal powers to -

  • install
  • maintain
  • remove

their infrastructure on public highway and other publicly adopted land. This also includes service strips which form part of the public highway.

These powers do not allow us to challenge the installation and maintenance of these networks and the essential services they deliver.

Telecommunication providers often need to install telegraph poles as part of their network infrastructure. The erection of these telegraph poles are permitted developments. This means that when the Local Planning Authority is notified of new installations, they have the opportunity to comment on the location and appearance of these proposals but cannot object to the installation.

If there's an obvious issue with the location or appearance, for example where a pole is directly in front of a main window, it can be suggested that a different location on the boundary with a neighbouring property is considered, then the Local Planning Authority will send a ‘no comment’ response.

The applicant must consider amending proposals considering any comments received from the Local Planning Authority, but no form of public notice or consultation is required as part of the process. Such matters are entirely the responsibility of the utility or telecommunication company.

If a member of the public has any complaints about the works, these must be directed to the relevant utility or telecommunications company responsible and not submitted to us.

Adjoining landowners and members of the public should take their own independent legal advice regarding the options available to them in these circumstances.