Rural campaign group slams new broadband guidelines

Monday, June 10th 2013
The CPRE warns that new government guidelines on broadband rollouts could spoil England's rural landscapes.
Rural campaign group slams new broadband guidelines
New government guidelines designed to speed up the pace of super-fast broadband rollouts have been criticised by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport's new code of practice on the positioning of broadband street cabinets and overhead lines gives communications companies the ability to install such infrastructure without first gaining planning permission from local authorities - unless the rollout is set to take place in a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

While the CPRE stressed that it welcomes the introduction of faster broadband for remote communities, the organisation argued that this should not come at the expense of the country's "beautiful rural landscapes".

Neil Sinden, the CPRE's Policy and Campaigns Director, expressed fear that the code and changed regulations do not have "sufficient teeth" to prevent cabinets and overhead lines from "blotting our finest landscapes and villages".

"Overhead lines can have a major impact if poorly sited and should be put on shared poles before new ones are put up," he added.

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