Skip to main content

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 261101, tabled on 6 June 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to review planning requirements with regard to the rollout of 5G technology to ensure that safety concerns are taken into account.

Answered on

12 June 2019

As announced by the Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on 12 June, we will shortly be consulting on proposals to simplify planning processes in England to support the rollout of 5G and further improve mobile coverage in rural areas.

Public Health England’s (PHE’s) Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards takes the lead on public health matters associated with radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, or radio waves, used in telecommunications. Central to PHE advice is that exposure to radio waves should comply with the guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). ICNIRP is formally recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO).

While a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves is possible when 5G is added to the existing network, the overall exposure is expected to remain low and well within the ICNIRP guidelines.

National planning policy sets out that applications for electronic communications equipment should be supported by a statement that self-certifies that when operational, ICNIRP guidelines will be met.