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Householder guide to satellite dishes

Installation of satellite television dishes: householder's planning guide

Installation of satellite television dishes: householder's plan
published on UK Free TV

Introduction

This Planning Guide is the Government's statement of good practice on the siting of satellite television dish antennas in England and Wales. It has been prepared with, and agreed by, representatives of the satellite television industry and local planning authorities.

The purpose of this guide is:


  • First to protect our environment from unnecessarily large, unsympathetic or poorly sited satellite dishes.
  • Second to make you, as a householder, aware of the need for the appropriate siting of satellite dishes.
  • Third to help retailers and installers provide improved advice and service to householders on the siting of satellite dishes.


Before you buy or rent a dish, check whether you need planning permission, listed building consent or owner's/ landlord's consent.


Remember, you are responsible for the appropriate siting of satellite dishes; if you have any doubt, contact the planning department of your local council or seek independent professional advice.


Checklist for Selection, Purchase, and Installation


  1. Check if you need the landlord's, or owner's consent.
  2. Don't allow a dish to be installed without first finding out whether or not you need planning permission or listed building consent.
  3. Use reputable and authorised suppliers and installers.
  4. Select a dish no larger than the minimum required for good reception.
  5. Site the dish in an inconspicuous place, preferably where your neighbours and the public cannot see it.
  6. Avoid breaking the skyline with the dish and, whenever possible don't site it in front of the house.
  7. Select a dish that blends in with its chosen background.


Respect the environment. The cheapest option may not be the most environmentally friendly.

Don't forget that you are responsible for having it installed; poor siting may lead the council to require you to re-site the dish at your own expense.


Satellite TV technology continues to evolve: you should be aware of the different kinds of system so that you can make an informed choice.


Is a planning application required?


A general permission exists under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, as amended by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) Order 1998 for satellite dishes in certain circumstances. These are explained below according to different house types and areas.


If you are a tenant or a leaseholder (i.e. you do not own the house you live in), then the landlord's or owner's consent to install a dish is usually required, unless it has already been given, as well as any other necessary permissions.


1 Do you live in a house that is not in a conservation area, a National park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Norfolk Boards?


Then you do not need to apply for planning permission to install a dish on that house, provided that:

  • there will not be more than one dish on the building or in the garden;
  • the dish does not exceed 90cm in size;
  • if the dish is installed on the roof, it does not protrude above the highest part of the roof;
  • in the case of an installation on a chimney stack, the dish does not exceed 45cm in size and is not higher than the highest part of the stack.

2 Do you live in a larger block of flats (of or over 15m in height - approximately over five storeys)?


Then you do not need to apply for planning permission to install a dish, provided that:

  • the building is not in a conservation area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Broads;
  • the number of dishes (including terrestrial dish antennas) on the building as a whole does not exceed two;
  • the dish does not exceed 1.3m in size.

3 Do you live in a flat in a small block of flats or commercial premises (below 15m in height) or plan to install a dish on a commercial property (e.g. shop, pub, club, etc)? Or do you live in a dwelling house in a conservation area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Broads?


Then you do not need to apply for planning permission to install a dish, provided that:

  • the dish does not exceed the limits on size, number and siting that are set out in paragraph 1 above, and the installation is not on a chimney stack, nor on the wall or roofslope fronting the road or public footpath (or, in the case of the Broads, fronting the waterway).


In the case of flats, these limits refer to the building as a whole and not to each separate flat. If, therefore, one flat dweller has already installed a dish, planning permission is required for further installations. However, in such a case, the flat dweller may wish to examine the possibility of a shared dish.


Your supplier or installer may generally be able to advise whether an application for planning permission is required for installing a dish in a particular place. If there is any doubt you should contact the planning department of your local council; the department provides application forms if planning permission is required.


It is your responsibility for seeking, or not seeking, planning permission. If required, planning permission should be granted before installation.


Size means the measurement across any dimension of the antenna (excluding any projecting feed element, the reinforcing rim and supporting brackets).


Some buildings are 'listed' because of their special historic or architectural interest. If you live in a 'listed building', you will need to consult your local planning department. The department can advise if the building is 'listed'. If it is, you will generally need to apply for 'listed building consent', if you wish to install a dish on that building. This consent is different from planning permission and must not be confused with it.


Listed building consent is required for any dish that affects the character or appearance of a listed building or its setting.


Do you need planning permission? Have a look at the visual guide available at the foot of this document.

Minimising the Impact

It is a condition of installing a dish that you must site it in such a way that minimises its impact on the external appearance of the building and remove it when no longer needed.

You have the responsibility for the selection , the siting, the sympathetic appearance of any dish that you buy or rent.


In coming to a decision on the selection and siting of a dish, you should take account of its impact on the neighbours , the public , the environment.


The retailer or installer may be able to advise you on these matters, but if there is any doubt, then you should contact your local planning department.


Considerations for Selection, Siting and Appearance

  • a white dish may blend against a white background but may be conspicuous against darker backgrounds;
  • a mesh or transparent dish may be less obtrusive than a solid one;
  • the location of a dish on a rear wall of the building or in the garden protected by shrubs (be careful not to disrupt the line-of-sight) is usually less conspicuous than siting it on the front of the building;
  • the performance of a dish is not affected by whether it is located higher up or lower down on a building, as long as the line-of-sight with the satellite is not affected;
  • a small dish hidden behind a parapet or a chimney stack may be less conspicuous than one on the wall;
  • special consideration will be necessary where a satellite dish is to be installed on, or within the grounds, of a listed building (subject to listed building consent - see above). Where it is not possible to conceal the dish from view on the building, e.g. in a roof valley or behind a parapet, it may be better to site the dish at ground level elsewhere within the garden;
  • dishes are available in a range of makes and appearances; the choice is therefore important.


Generally the environmental concern stems from poor selection or siting of a dish or from a dish colour and appearance that contrasts conspicuously with its background.

The Consequence of Poor Siting

If your planning department thinks a dish has been sited poorly and could reasonably be positioned less conspicuously, you may be asked to re-site the dish at your own expense without having to apply for planning permission.

If such a request is refused, your planning department may then:

  1. require you to make a planning application (for which a charge is payable) on the basis that the impact of the dish on the external appearance of the building has not been minimised
    or
  2. serve you with an enforcement notice requiring the siting of the dish to be altered in a specified way.


You are entitled to appeal if planning permission is sought and refused or if an enforcement notice is served. Grounds for an appeal could include your consideration that the chosen location is appropriate or that the measures required to be taken are excessive, perhaps giving rise to unreasonable costs.


Failure to comply with an enforcement notice is an offence which can lead to a fine, unless you have successfully appealed against it.


It is in your best interest to ensure the proper selection, siting and appearance of your dish from the beginning.


Your planning department, in seeking re-siting, should use these guidelines to show, on a diagram, reasonable measures that can be taken to achieve significantly less visible locations that satisfy line-of-sight requirements and picture quality. The council cannot use this power to deny you the right to install a dish; the purpose of this guide is to give guidance on how the regulations on siting will be interpreted.


You should remove any dish which is no longer needed, for example if you change from a dish to a cable system.


Where a dish can be sited


Choice of Suppliers and Installers


Suppliers and installers should be familiar with the planning and environmental aspects of installation.


You are strongly advised to obtain your satellite reception equipment from reputable suppliers, e.g. members of the Radio, Electrical and Television Retailers' Association (RETRA), other established companies, or, where appropriate, from the broadcaster.


You are also advised to use installers who are members of the Confederation of Aerial Industries Limited (CAI) or other professionally qualified installers who adhere to an appropriate Code of Practice in line with this Planning Guide.


Reputable installers should have agreed standards for their work, in some cases guaranteed by their company; they should also be covered by Public Liability and Employer's Liability insurance.


Obtain quotations for alternative siting options and costs (e.g. on rear wall) prior to installation.


Remember, the cheapest installation option may not be the most environmentally acceptable.


Alternatives to Individual Dishes


If you live in

  • a tower block
  • a small block of flats
  • a terrace of houses
  • a semi-detached house

it may be possible to receive satellite TV broadcasts without the need for each household to install an individual satellite dish. There are two main alternatives to an individual dish:

Shared Dish Systems


Communal satellite TV systems are worth looking into if:

  • planning permission is unlikely to be granted for several dishes on a single building;
  • you think a communal system would be more environmentally friendly than for each home to have its own dish;
  • landlords or owners have prohibited individual dishes.


If you live in a tower block or large group of flats or houses, you should check first of all what provision, if any, has already been made for a communal system.


There may be a number of technical and cost options in establishing a communal system; professional advice should be obtained to ensure the chosen system offers the optimum choice of programmes at a reasonable price and with the capacity to accommodate future services.


If you live in a semi-detached or terraced house, it may be possible to develop a shared system but it may be more expensive than installing individual dishes. You may require legal advice on the conditions for sharing. In any event, you should ensure that any shared system provides access to all the desired programmes.


The same planning regulations apply to communal or shared dishes as apply to individual dishes.


It is the responsibility of the landlord or the building owner to decide whether or not to allow the installation of a communal satellite TV system and to obtain any licence. Guidelines on licensing are available from the Department of Trade and Industry and Ofcom. Enquiries should be made to those bodies at the addresses below.


Cable Networks


You may wish to ask your council whether your area is served by cable television. This is particularly important where:

  • your home or building does not have a line-of-sight with the desired satellite;
  • where planning permission for a dish is not granted;
  • where a shared system is not feasible;
  • where you do not wish to have the dish on the outside of your property.

Cable networks can be another way of bringing satellite TV broadcasts to your home.

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Comments
Friday, 28 October 2011
D
Duncan
10:53 AM

Thanks Brian that's an interesting link.

Going back to what you said about dish overhangs over neighbour's properties, I was reading about the current use of photo-voltaic panels to generate domestic electricity placed on your house roof. I wondered if there was any specific leglislation in place as by using the same principle you could utlise both your own and neighbours roof areas for sunlight capture as long as the system did not physically connect to the neighbours property.

I doubt I would be very popular if I tried this but in theory it is simply the collection of electromagnetic radiation albeit from different sources and different frequencies one with a satellite dish and the other with a PV panel. Probably the local council would have something to say as well !

link to this comment
Duncan's 14 posts GB flag
Saturday, 29 October 2011
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

11:43 AM

Duncan: There are, as I recall, specific laws about the "right to light" which would apply to capture of sunlight onto a roof area.

planning

"A Right of Light is protected in England and Wales under common law, adverse possession or by the Prescription Act 1832. Unlike right to freedom from smell and noise, a Right of Light has to be acquired before it can be enforced.

Natural light is a commodity that can be bought, sold or even transferred between parties. Rights can be registered, granted by deed or simply acquired by having a minimum of 20 years enjoyment of light through a window or opening. Once a window has received over 20 years of unobstructed daylight, it automatically earns itself a Right of Light. Such rights are, for Land Registration purposes, overriding interests. They are valid whether or not they are registered on the title deeds to the property which claims the right."

But, as in most cases like this, the question would be one of "intent". If you go all "Who Shot Mr Burns" I suspect that the law would take a very dim view.

You cannot, for example, chop down a neighbours tree because a branch overhangs your property, but you can chop down the branch.

When it comes to the overhanding satellite dish, as the great majority of it does not overhang, you would not be in a position to effect the removal of it.



link to this comment
Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Sunday, 12 February 2012
S
Sandy
10:19 PM

Hi there, I spent part of the year in Catalonia Spain. I have previously taken my Sky box and card with me, connected it upto my dish and it worked perfectly. Do you know if I changed to Freesat by buying a top box would it work ?

Thanks
Sandy

link to this comment
Sandy's 1 post GB flag
Saturday, 18 February 2012
E
edd
12:29 AM

Sandy: Freesat is dependant on the local uk transmitters which are limited in range unlike a satelite

link to this comment
edd's 2 posts GB flag
Sunday, 26 February 2012
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

4:50 PM

edd: Freesat uses 100% the same signals from the same satellites as Sky and has nothing at all to do with "local uk transmitters", which is the FreeVIEW service.

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
D
dannar
11:53 PM

ive just come home from work to find a sky cable has been put on my side of an extension wall to my neighbours tv.ive contacted sky to say id like it removed but they've said my neighbours would have to phone them to get it moved. its my neighbours tv i dont want this eye sore on my side, can i get a professional to take it down.

link to this comment
dannar's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Dave Lindsay
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

9:55 AM

dannar: Perhaps it might be worthtaking some photographs.

The first thing to do is talk to your neighbour about it because it will obviously involve him or her.

link to this comment
Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Thursday, 21 June 2012
M
Ms B
9:09 PM

Hello. We live in a detached house and the side of the house is non accessable as we would have to enter house neighbours garden. We had an aerial installer (not Sky etc) put a cable down the side of the wall (a visting member of their family allowed him acess and we didnt forsee any problem). This cable was for Sky TV. A single black cable was fitted to the wall. We have recently discovered that they have removed and unpinned the cable. We cannot prove this but it is only accessable to them. We had in fact cut the cable ourselves since the installation but as we do not have a good relationship with our neighbours due to horrendous parking issues, we did not approach them to remove it. (We have ongoing issues with them and the police are involved). My question: is the fact they removed the cable (working or not) criminal damage? Many thanks in advance.

link to this comment
Ms B's 1 post GB flag
M
Mark Fletcher
sentiment_satisfiedGold

10:03 PM
Barnsley

Ms B.Yes would be the most likely answer !

link to this comment
Mark Fletcher's 673 posts GB flag
Mark's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Thursday, 25 October 2012
J
John
5:57 PM

Hi, just looking for some advice. I am the owner of a flat that is above commercial properties. The hairdressers directly below me has just installed sky & the dish has been attached to the wall just outside my door which is at the back of the flat. Are they in there right to do this and should they hav asked me first? Thanks John.

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John's 1 post GB flag
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