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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 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

Buildings more than 15 metres high

B) Properties with a special designation

Listed Buildings

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.

Conservation Area

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;

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:

The Council may designate additional ones in the future.

Guidelines for Minimal Impact

Alternatives to a satellite dish

General issues

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

Planning Portal
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'.

Virgin Media

Office of Communications (Ofcom)
Cardiff Office, 2 Caspian Point, Caspian Way, Cardiff CF10 4DQ
029 2046 7233

Digital UK
08456 50 50 50
Provides information relating to the digital switchover

Adopted September 2003, Revised May 2009