January 2024 update: JR application made. see blog.


Wireless Radiation Safety: how close to masts and small cells for how long?

Under the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) the Local Authorities decide. The submission seeks to activate evidence based decision making.

  • help stop sham regulation
  • help activate proper risk assessment
  • help remove the ICNIRP guideline stranglehold, they are not protective of all people in all circumstances

Blindly following policy is not enough to prevent avoidable harm. The submission is a rare opportunity to claim your right to be protected.

ACT NOW to support the submission.

Take 2 simple steps …

  • Download the EECC submission
  • Download the email template, copy and paste the content into a new email, add the addressee name at the top, your name at the bottom, attach the submission. Send the email to your Head of Planning, copy in your MP.
  • Please let us know which Council you have written to.

The mast objection template, below, ‘Mast objection-inc-EECC’ asserts the need to consider evidence under the EECC and includes focussed evidence of risks which justify objection, and is intended to overcome the LPAs adherence to the sole application of the ICNIRP certificate in their decision making.

Use this if you intend to follow up and hold the LPA to account for not considering health and environmental impacts. You can find our more generic template under Option 2 here.

Sharing news of the submission and the submission itself can strengthen communications with local councils, councillors and MPs, and campaigners.

The submission gives the local authority strength.

  • the submission fully evidences (Appendix 2) why accepting an ICNIRP certificate is not enough to protect the public even from the ICNIRP levels of exposure
  • it presents full legal argument as to why when LPAs don’t fully account for all the risks including all the non-thermal harms which we are evidencing in our objections when they make decisions on 5G masts and when Local Authorities sign contracts for small cells and street wifi,  they are not fulfilling their statutory obligations
  • the submission exposes the government for not having made it clear what LPAs/LAs obligations are under the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) when they transposed the EU directive into law in December 2020
  • the submission exposes government policy (National Planning Policy Framework) NPPF 118 to be unlawful as it restricts risk reconciliation to sole application of the ICNIRP guideline
  • the local authorities have autonomous decision-making obligations and need Telecoms specific environmental impact assessments
  • the submission requires the counter-balancing of evidence to end the sole application of ICNIRP
  • the local authorities are vulnerable to legal challenges
  • the LAs can now interact more easily with the Department of Health and Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to change the system by espressing their interest in the outcome of this legal challenge
  • the local councils can declare their interest in all the legal ambiguity being clarified, and request to be fully equipped with telecoms specific risk assessments, as the submission is asserting
  • logically the local authorities will know a blank certificate is not enough to protect the public as the local authorities don’t even know where the exclusion zones are

The submission supports people new to 5G, and new to sharing about 5G.

  • the submission has a library of references in Appendix 2 which are useful as a one stop reference point for new campaigners.
  • because of the authority of the legal argument, the strength of the evidence of sham regulation, and strength of the evidence of harms below the ICNIRP guideline within the submission, the submission can be given to any councillor or MP or neighbour who claims there is not a problem with either wireless technology or the way it is being regulated to counter those claims.

UK government policy side-steps statutory obligations …

The requirement for Local Authorities to risk reconcile environmental and public health consequences of radio frequency emitting infrastructure is embedded within the European Electronics Communications Code (EECC).

This procedural requirement is not reflected in UK government policy, the transposition of the Directive into UK law in December 2020 did not enact the public health protection imperative within it.

Untenable inconsistencies across councils…

Councils are acting inconsistently due to the government’s ambiguous transposition of the EU directive.

Campaigners have been informing councils about this statutory obligation to risk assess, but after thousands of mast objections addressing the issue, there has been little if any progress; councils have continued to rely solely on the policy (118) which constricts them to not actively assess the risks. Citizen Rights to present credible evidence of avoidable harms are being ignored.

The National Planning Policy Framework policy 118 (NPPF 118) insinuates that the local councils do not have any statutory obligations beyond ensuring the planning application is accompanied by Telecom’s self-issued compliance certificate.

This policy is not in alignment with the procedural standards and public health imperative within the EECC.

When questioned about their statutory obligations under the EECC, the councils who have responded have done so inconsistently.

Some have acknowledged they are a competent authority under the EECC but have assumed that applying policy 118 would satisfy the procedural standard.

Others have denied that the EECC health provisions apply to them.

One council empathised with the dilemma and have sought clarification from central government, but that clarification has not been forthcoming.

Mendip planning board sets an example… 

Two planning boards have acknowledged that risk reconciliation includes evidence of risk presented by the public in objections, and have weighed this alongside the evidence of safety supported by the ICNIRP compliance certificate.

They confirmed that health impacts are a material planning consideration, and that when a threshold of evidence is reached which demonstrates a lack of safety that outweighs the benefits of the proposal then policy 118 can be set aside, and the mast application can be refused on those grounds.

Mendip Planning Board demonstrated that their EECC obligations cannot be achieved by solely applying policy when they refused a 5G mast due to lack of evidence of safety.

A resident with multiple metal implants living within 200m of the mast was represented by a doctor who testified that he would likely suffer further adverse symptoms should the mast be installed. The planning board also considered evidence that a 500m setback distance is needed to protect residents, which is more conservative than that set by ICNIRP compliance. Mendip discussed why schools are consulted when children at home are equally vulnerable. However this active risk reconciliation is an isolated case.

Residents are left vulnerable by current policy…

One implication of planning case officers not accepting they have a statutory role beyond blind acceptance of an ICNIRP compliance certificate is that planning applications may be passed with residents’ homes within the public exclusion zone.

The public exclusion zone diagrams are generally not provided by Telecoms to the planners and so they are unable to assess whether residents fall inside the unsafe area.

On one occasion when they were provided, a resident’s home was found to be fully inside an area clearly marked as only being safe for 8 hours. The plan was adjusted and still the zone encroached into the resident’s garden. Ofcom’s offer to measure the radiation levels after installation was no comfort to this resident. The fault falls firmly with the policy which constrains councils to blindly accept a compliance certificate without any oversight.

Planning Judicial Reviews are having to be taken to challenge placement of masts in close proximity to residents where exclusion zone breaches are suspected.

The auditory sensory limit to protect against microwave hearing set within the ICNIRP guidelines is also not being respected by planning authorities as the government have not informed anyone about this limit which is 0.5% of the basic limit.

Those with metal implants are not protected by the ICNIRP guideline and this fact is not being addressed by planning authorities.

The lack of oversight of ICNIRP certificates has also resulted in planning applications being approved within 50m of adjacent masts, without any consideration of the additional radiation from the adjacent mast.

Please read Appendix 1 and 2 which fully evidences the inconsistencies, ambiguities and consequences of the government’s failure to activate the EECC public health imperative.

Peer reviewed science indicating risks is being sidelined…

The recently filed submission confronts the statutory ambiguity and legally justifies a change in the sole application of ICNIRP certification policy (National Planning Policy Framework policy 118).

The submission seeks the introduction of Telecoms specific Environmental Impact Assessments.

False assumptions made by industry…

The submission presents statements from the international commission of biological effects of EMF (ICBE-EMF) paper rebutting claims by a recent EE submission about health. Risk assessments need to address risks from a fully specified infrastructure. Without a full dataset the public and the local authority is impotent to accurately assess the risks.

The carrier waves, modulation and frequency are known to have differing biological impacts, thus being full cognisant of this information is necessary.

The submission offers a context of 5G research available:

According to EMF-Portal, an archive that contains more than 39,000 publications on electromagnetic fields, of the 587 papers published on “5G,” only 20 were medical/biological studies (as of September 4, 2023). The 20 studies reported evidence of oxidative stress and adverse effects on the neuroendocrine system, the cardiovascular system, sleep quality, sperm quality, bone quality, gene expression, and sensorimotor responses. Most studies used animal models and short-term exposures to microwave radiation (especially continuous wave 3.5 GHz). However, only five of the 20 studies actually tested the effects of 5G. The biologic and health effects associated with exposure to 5G radiation depend on more than just the carrier frequency. Although these 20 studies employed carrier frequencies used in 5G (e.g., 3.5 GHz, 27-28 GHz), only five studies tested exposures with 5G modulation. Moreover, only four of these studies had other 5G components (e.g., beamforming, massive MIMO) that are likely to affect the nature and extent of biological or health effects from exposure. The five studies are Canovi et al., 2023; Hardell and Nilsson, 2023; Chu et al., 2023; Pustake et al., 2022; Perov et al., 2022.’

The EECC submission seeks full accountability…

There is pressure on councils to accept the 5G roll out in principle via planning policy, and pressure to believe that 5G is safe via general statements made by Telecoms in documents supplied with applications. When these statements are addressed in objections specifically within the context of latest peer reviewed science the Case Officers do not answer in their reports and decision notices.

Currently the policy amounts to sham regulation leaving people exposed and vulnerable. It must stop.

The remedies being sought (in section 5), expressed in the positive are:

1 Alter the NPPF to affirm the competent authority status of Local Authorities

2 Resource LPAs/LAs to perform as regulators of RFR exposure

3 Acknowledge the primacy of the public exposure procedural standard within the EECC 

4 Alter all policies and practices to reflect that material planning considerations arise from EECC public health/environmental provisions.

5 Determine whether the EECC public health provisions is where Matt Warman considered LPAs/LAs operated as EECC competent authorities

6 Introduce Telecom specific Environmental Impact Assessments

7 Acknowledge that LPAs/LAs EECC competent authority status is made direct by EECC Recital 22

8 Acknowledge that the EECC is the only legal framework for “in situ” decision making re RFR public and environmental exposure

9 Acknowledge that LPAs/LAs multi-factorial decision-making demand cognisant, attuned, and responsive decision-making to balance policy, procedural requirements and compliance with legal obligations

10 Clarify that public/citizen direct rights arise when LPA/LA make decisions on mast/antennas siting and small cell deployment (-making and material planning considerations determination)

11 Set objectives and criteria (EECC Recitals 21 and 121) for the protection of public health/environmental effects (Enact Recital 21 and 22 (DOH/ DLUHC)

12 Clarify significance of answers regarding the LPA/LA competent authority from Matt Warman to Wera Hobhouse (DDCMS) and lack of response by the DLUHC to Solihull MBC

13 Confirm the “weighting” of evidence as part of the EECC procedural standard, presented by DLA PIPER in August 2019

1Confirm that the “efficient management of the spectrum” requires LPA/LA EECC competent authority status to be applied effectively

15 Confirm the Wells v Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (2004) is a comparable ‘of a kind’ case to the case made in this Schedule 8, paragraph 35(9) submission

16 Confirm that the case is significant regarding the incomplete transposition of the EECC

17 Protect citizen rights via a complete transposition of EECC in line with EU directive transposition guidance

18 Resource LPAs/LAs to fulfil the EECC “public health imperative” and to distinguish between ‘inevitable nuisance’ and avoidable nuisance

19 Provide clarity on the government’s on-going responsibilities when it delegates public health/environmental regulatory functions to LPAs/LAs

20 Require LPAs/LAs to perform Telecommunication specific EIAs to fulfil EECC Recital 106 re mast siting

21 Require LPAs/LAs to perform Telecommunication specific EIAs to fulfil EECC Recital 105 re: small cell deployment


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