Mobile-phone-mastOn Thursday 26th March the Daily Telegraph ran a story headlined “Government rules out taller masts to improve rural mobile coverage.” The article reported “Calls by Britain’s mobile operators for planning restrictions to be relaxed so they can build taller masts that cover wider areas have been rejected by his (Culture Secretary Sajid Javid’s) officials. Fears of Nimbyism trumped the desire to improve rural mobile signals, industry sources claim.” Countryside Alliance Head of Policy Sarah Lee commented: “The Alliance has always believed that a change and simplification in planning laws could help improve mobile coverage in rural areas. We believe that mobile operators need to be able to deploy the most appropriate technology to deliver the best coverage.  However we also recognise that some communities will be concerned about taller masts and they might not be appropriate for certain landscapes, a simplification of the planning laws should not be seen as a green light for mobile operators to ignore community concerns. If we are to meet the Government’s digital ambitions then we may need to take some bold decisions.”