The UK is covered by a network of telecommunications links. During the early stages of the wind energy development process telecommunication links crossing and passing next to the site are identified. If links are identified it is often possible to design a wind energy development around them.

The types of telecommunication links investigated include:

Television Signals

These are broadcast from a network of main transmitters around the country, supplemented by additional, lower power, local transmitters in area where the main signal is of poor quality.

Fixed radio links

These include trunk telephone services, mobile phone services, televisions signals and government and defence communications. These links run point-to-point and most of them are at microwave frequencies, similar to those used by mobile phones. The links are generally relatively narrow so they can be designed around although some operators require a clearance zone of as much as 250 metres.

Scanning telemetry systems

These are used by water and power industries to monitor and control substations, water and sewage works, pipelines and supply networks.

To ensure that developments are designed to accurately incorporate telecommunication links a variety of interested bodies and organisations are consulted. These bodies and organisations include but are not limited to:

  • Office of Communications
  • BBC
  • ITV
  • Orange
  • Vodafone
  • O2
  • T-Mobile
  • British Telecom
  • Virgin Media

When the final development proposal is submitted to the relevant planning authority, the consultees listed above are given the opportunity to review and comment on the proposal.

To give local residents additional confidence, the planning notice is accompanied by a planning condition that gives the owner of the development responsibility for remedying any unforeseen problems at their own cost. This can include actions such as purchasing television booster aerials.

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