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Call to relax controls on phone masts to eradicate ‘not spots’ in Wales

Words: Roger Milne

Wales Office minister Guto Bebb has voiced his hope that mobile "not-spots” can be eradicated from the country and urged the devolved administration to adopt the English practice of allowing taller masts that don’t need planning permission.

Bebb is planning to bring together Ofcom, mobile operators, farming unions, and landowners this autumn in a bid to tackle the long-running issue of areas of poor or non-existent mobile phone coverage and slow broadband.

The UK Government has changed planning regulations in England to allow masts up to 25 metres in height to be built without planning permission.

Bebb said: “I would very much like the Welsh Government to adopt a similar policy. It is absolutely right that communities are consulted about the impact of masts, but the lack of coverage needs to be addressed if Wales is to get the best possible mobile coverage."

Bebb pointed out that more than 250,000 people in Wales work for small or medium-sized businesses that depend on good mobile phone reception and broadband.

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