Landowners welcome withdrawal of flawed Electronic Communications Code

22 January 2015

Landowners have welcomed the decision by Ministers to withdraw proposed new laws governing wayleaves, rents and access to land for communications infrastructure providers. 

The proposed replacement of the Electronic Communications Code was first set out on 9January and took the form of 60 pages of new law contained in the Infrastructure Bill. The CLA was strongly critical of the lack of industry consultation and the attempt to introduce this detailed and complex new law at a very late stage in the parliamentary process. The CLA also exposed significant flaws in the way the code would work and strong opposition to the concept of Ministers intervening to ensure mobile phone companies could impose terms, including rents and wayleave payments, on landowners for access to their land.

The CLA has been pressing for Government to withdraw the amendments since they were first published just under two weeks ago. This included writing to Ministers, contact with Government departments and briefing MPs seeking opposition to the Code.

CLA President Henry Robinson said: “We are pleased Ministers have decided to withdraw this Code. There were deep flaws with what was proposed.  It was too complex and unworkable for all sides.

“We are keen to collaborate with the Government to secure reform of this Code. The end objective we all want is better mobile coverage in rural areas that are currently all but cut off from the communications that are part of everyday life for most.

“This can only be achieved through proper consultation and we will now be seeking reassurance that this will take place.”

The Government’s decision to withdraw the proposed Code means the existing code will remain in place.

 

Read the Infrastructure Bill relating to the Electronic Communications Code in section 10028 amendment 91.