Local Planning Guidance Note No 25 - The Siting of Television Satellite Dishes
This is one of a series of local planning guidance notes amplifying local planning proposals in a clear and concise format with the objectives of raising awareness and improving standards. This guidance note will form a material consideration in the determination of all relevant planning applications, following a public consultation exercise and formal adoption by the Council.
These guidelines cannot cover all the issues, and applicants and agents are advised, wherever the circumstances are unusual, to discuss their proposal on an informal basis, with a planning officer prior to the formal submission of an application. It is always advisable to obtain advice before purchasing and siting a satellite dish.
With the growth in satellite television, the installation of satellite dishes has increased. Planning law in relation to satellite dishes has also become complex. This leaflet focuses on television broadcasting satellite dishes. It outlines:
- the planning requirements,
- how to reduce the visual impact of satellite dishes on individual buildings and the streetscape.
The Council will determine applications for satellite dishes in accordance with this guidance note, together with other relevant considerations.
Changes in satellite dish technology, resulting in changes in their visual appearance, and planning legislation, will be monitored to ensure this guidance note is kept up to date.
To help minimise the impact and clutter of satellite dishes on the countryside, villages and towns, the Council policy requires satellite dishes to be carefully sited. Even in those circumstances where planning permission is not required, there is a requirement to install satellite dishes with minimal effect on a building, and to remove them when no longer needed. Careful siting of satellite dishes avoids the Council requesting their re-siting or removal.
If required, planning permission must be obtained before installing a satellite dish.
Satellite antenna (or dish or aerial):
Apparatus designed to transmit or receive microwave radio energy to or from satellites, most commonly used to receive direct television broadcasting signals
Terrestrial microwave antenna:
Apparatus designed to transmit or receive signals from another land-based antenna. Licensed Code Operators mostly use these.
When is planning permission needed?
There are different rules according to the type of property and location. The Planning Department will be able to advise if a property involves a special designation i.e a listed building, or within a conservation area, or with restrictive planning conditions.
A) Properties without a specific designation
Planning permission is not required if the following conditions are achieved;
Houses and Buildings up to 15 metres high
Not more than two dishes on the property or in the garden
- A single dish should not be more than 100cm in diameter.
- If there are two dishes one is no more than 100cm in diameter and the other is not more than 60cm in diameter
- The cubic capacity of each dish is not more than 35 litres
- A dish fitted on a chimney is not more than 60cm in diameter
- A dish sited on a roof should not be higher than the highest part of the roof, if sited on a roof with a chimney it should not be more than 60cm above the highest part of the roof or above the highest part of the chimney.
Buildings more than 15 metres high
- Not more than 4 dishes on the whole building
- Each dish does not measure more than 130cm in diameter
- The cubic capacity of each dish does not exceed 35 litres
- A dish on a chimney is not more than 60cm in diameter
- A dish sited on the roof is not more than 3m above the highest part of the roof
B) Properties with a special designation
A building is 'listed' due to its special architectural character or historical importance. In most cases, all satellite dishes involving listed buildings require a different type of consent from the Council, namely listed building consent. The Council has an important duty to protect the character of listed buildings. Further advice regarding listed buildings can be obtained from the Council's Conservation Officer.
These areas have a special character that should be preserved and enhanced. There are 21 conservation areas in the County Borough. There are additional restrictions on the installation of satellite dishes on properties located in these areas, over and above the details provided in Section A.
Planning permission is required when the siting of a dish will involve;
- A chimney, wall or a roof slope which faces onto, and is visible from, a road.
Some conservation areas are covered by an Article 4 Direction. This means that alterations to a building which could otherwise fall outside planning legislation - which includes the siting of satellite dishes - requires planning permission. Six areas in the County Borough have Article 4 Directions:
- Cefn Mawr, Chirk, Fairy Road Wrexham, Grosvenor Road Wrexham (Part), Holt and Salisbury Park Wrexham.
The Council may designate additional ones in the future.
Guidelines for Minimal Impact
- In recognising that all dishes usually require a 30-degree to horizontal line of sight in a south- west or south-east direction, they do not always need a prominent or high position on a building. In addition, the size of dishes does not necessarily have to be large. Dishes of 60cm or less can often be used, dependent on the technology.
- Generally, and especially with special designations, satellite dishes should, if possible, be sited to the rear of properties and be inconspicuous.
- Aim for a single dish on a building, or an alternative to a satellite dish.
- For all satellite proposals, the Council will consider the impact of satellite dishes in line with the following checklist. Planning permission and listed building consent will be refused if the siting of satellite dishes does not achieve minimal impact.
Alternatives to a satellite dish
- Consider other alternatives to a satellite dish, especially in the case of a block of flats, terrace house, or semi detached houses. There are 2 other options; shared dish, and cable systems. Checks must be made if any provisions made for a shared or cable system. - including any legal requirements. Professional advice should be sought in exploring these options. One dish can be shared with up to 4 or 5 residents. S.M.A.T.V - Satellite Master Antenna Television is a small cable system, which can serve flats or separate properties from a communal dish or dishes. This will require a Telecommunications Act Licence from the Office of Telecommunications, Oftel. In situations when all options and applications for the siting of a satellite dish are likely to be unsuccessful, cable systems is another possible option to provide satellite television. Conditions may be attached to planning permissions, which will oblige the use of shared systems.
- If you are a tenant, you will need to check whether you need the landlord and /or owner's consent.
- The installation of dishes near the windows and doors of neighbouring houses should generally be avoided.
- The Council will expect all new build developments to have taken into consideration the installation requirements of cable TV systems, including landscaping, or another form of inconspicuous satellite television system.
- Dishes no longer needed should be removed. For example, if a different satellite system is introduced involving a cable system. A temporary planning permission may be given, with a condition requiring their removal within a specified period.
- If the siting of a satellite dish fails to satisfy the guidance outlined in this leaflet, and/or permission refused, the Council may pursue enforcement action. The Council will always try to negotiate a more acceptable location of a satellite dish, which will minimise its appearance, prior to the consideration of any formal legal action. Formal action taken by the Council would require a satellite dish to be relocated or removed, if negotiation fails. There is a right to appeal against any formal action being taken by the Council. Further details can be obtained from the Planning Department; contact information below.
Useful additional references and addresses
Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI)
41a Market Street, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0PN
Tel: 01923 803030
The Digital Television Group
1 Nine Elms Lane, Vauxhall, London SW8 5NQ
Tel: 020 7501 4300
The Planning Inspectorate, Crown Buildings, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NQ
Tel 029 2082 3866
Welsh Assembly Government
Planning Division, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF1 3NQ
Tel 0845 010 3300
Publish Technical Advice Note 19 on Telecommunications and 'A Householder's Planning Guide for the installation of Antennas, including Satellite Dishes'.
Office of Communications (Ofcom)
Cardiff Office, 2 Caspian Point, Caspian Way, Cardiff CF10 4DQ
029 2046 7233
08456 50 50 50
Provides information relating to the digital switchover
Adopted September 2003, Revised May 2009