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Public Interest in 5G Communications & emerging technologies

The Council often receives requests from Citizens and Interest Groups related to the national rollout of 5G communications and other emerging technologies. We have collated the most common questions and answers here.

If you are considering submitting an information request related to 5G or emerging technologies, please note we may signpost requests back to this page where information is already available (FOIA Section 21 & EIR Section 6).

The Council follows all applicable UK government guidance and will not engage with campaign groups or individuals using vexatious or accusatory language, basing arguments on pseudoscience, or spreading false information related to the use and development of technologies.

1. Does Stroud District Council have or plan to have a 5G strategy or roll out plan?

No. The Council has no responsibility for infrastructure strategy or roll out. The UK Wireless Infrastructure Strategy is the responsibility of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).

2. Is there a programme of erecting communications masts or other emerging technologies in the Stroud area?

The Council does not hold information on overall infrastructure programmes. Please see questions 3 and 4 for information on the data we do hold.

3. What is Stroud District Council responsible for regarding communication and emerging technology infrastructure?

The Councils only responsibility for communication and emerging technology infrastructure is to assess prior approvals and planning applications for new or upgraded installations (e.g. masts or antennae). To assess these the Council follows the UK Government guidance: The Town and Country Planning Order 2015 (Section 16) and the national planning policy framework (NPPF) on communications infrastructure. Officers dealing with such applications can only make recommendations based on agreed national and local policy.

4. Can you tell me how many of a particular piece of technology has been installed in the district (e.g. 5G masts)?

While the Local Planning Authority receives a variety of applications, prior approval notifications and permitted development notifications for telecommunications developments, it does not (and is not required to) record systematically whether these are '5G' or other forms of network provision or to retain such data - nor do we record which proposals are subsequently installed. However, where a contractor has been required to notify us of a new mast the Authority has made this information publicly available. The information can be accessed via the advanced search function on our planning pages. In application type, please select ‘Telecommunication Notification’ and then use the date ranges at the bottom of the page to select the required period. Please be advised that the system can only retrieve a certain number of applications at a time. For this type of application, we recommend searching no more than a year at a time.

5. Does Stroud District Council assess or query the safety, need or supply of 5G and other emerging technologies?

The Council as a local planning authority must determine prior approvals and applications on planning grounds only. We will not seek to prevent competition between different operators, question the need for an electronic communications system, or set health safeguards different from the International Commission guidelines for public exposure. This is defined across the NPPF and ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) Guidelines.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) lead on public health matters associated with radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and have a statutory duty to provide advice to Government on any health effects that may be caused by exposure to EMF. You can view their report on ‘radio waves and health’ at and their report on Mobile Phone base stations at The Council holds no information on the safety of these technologies.

The communications regulator Ofcom is responsible for authorising and managing the use of radio spectrum through their licensing regime, which includes enforcement powers in the event of non-compliance. They also have a role to play in carrying out post erection checks of infrastructure. You can view their guide to 5G technology for more information.

6. Does Stroud District Council have maps of existing infrastructure?

If an individual site that has undergone a planning application is of interest to you, these can be searched for on the planning portal at Maps of multiple sites will not be provided as the EIR regulation 12(5)(a) is engaged and disclosure would adversely affect national security. HM Government has raised significant concerns with the communications regulator Ofcom about the release of such information on national security grounds and has advised that disclosure of the information would adversely affect national security.

7. I have a question about LED streetlighting, SMART roads and signage or another public highway issue.

Stroud District Council has no responsibility for public Highways and holds no information related to LED street lighting, SMART roads and signage, or other public highway issues. These are usually the responsibility of a County Council.

8. Accusations that Councillors could potentially be held liable for any harms caused by emerging technologies.

We do not believe a Councillor has any liability related to the unsubstantiated claims that some emerging technologies cause harm.

9. How much of the Council Tax or other revenue collected by Stroud District Council has gone to the installation or maintenance of communications and other emerging technologies?

These technologies are neither owned nor maintained by the District Council. We have no records of any spending related to them.

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