Revealed: UK's mobile phone mast money makers

Mo 18 Dez 2006

Snapshot survey shows schools using masts to boost budgets.

The vast amounts of money UK councils earn from mobile phone masts on public buildings - including schools - has been revealed for the first time.

A More4 News Online probe shows councils are raking in thousands of pounds a year from renting out civic sites for masts - a controversial practice encouraged by government.

Critics have accused government of ignoring calls to change the planning rules for masts - many say the health debate surrounding such structures has not been resolved.

Six of the councils who took part in the survey revealed revenues of more than £100,000 a year.

Birmingham City Council earns more than £590,000 from masts on its buildings. The authority used to have a ban on such structures.

Many of the masts are on council housing blocks and offices, while some are even on schools.

Authorities in Edinburgh, Oxfordshire, Portsmouth, York and Aberdeen were found to have masts on schools.

The councils said in the vast majority of cases the schools were consulted first - and the revenue from the masts went to the schools' budgets.

A list of the annual revenues councils receive from permitting masts on their buildings:

Birmingham City Council: £590,973
Leeds City Council: £410,000
Haringey Council: £256,852
Ealing Council: £133,250
Bristol City Council: £125,230.40
Edinburgh City Council: £119,139
Cambridge City Council: £83,992
Glasgow City Council: £83,351
Portsmouth City Council: £63,920
Norwich City Council: £62,100
Brighton & Hove City Council: £47,000
Plymouth City Council: £44,550
Coventry City Council: £44,429
City of York Council: £33,217
Aberdeen City Council: £8,000
Southampton City Council: £5,571
Oxfordshire County Council provided a figure of £175,603 as its revenue from mobile phone masts, but says it is a one-off income, rather than an annual income.

Breakdown by council
Location and costs by council. Download original spreadsheets and other documents.

Key figures respond to the More4 News investigation.


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