Following an extensive period of consultation and false starts, the national commercial property consultancy has welcomed the news that the ECC is shortly to be reformed.
The Budget this week provides Mr Osborne with an opportunity to ensure that the UK gets a fixed line and mobile broadband sector that is fit for purpose for the 21st Century.
Mark Walters, director of Telecoms Consultancy at LSH in Bristol and the South West, said network operators are focused on building a robust telecoms infrastructure that will be fit for purpose for the coming decades and which enables them to keep pace with evolving consumer needs – increasing internet usage, the cloud, the growth of data and video on demand.
“A new Code will balance the needs of operators against the owners of buildings and land from which the infrastructure operates, so that all parties can benefit. The Code should outline clearer steps for landowners to relocate or remove operators from sites that are prime for redevelopment, the current arrangements for which are heavily weighted in the operator’s favour.”
He added: “The continuous evolution of the UK telecoms market can provide significant opportunities for commercial property landlords. However, the changes introduced by the new code will not be retrospective.
“Any leases granted prior to the new code coming into force will still be subject to the current regime and its inherent complexities, but this need not stop development in its tracks.”
LSH helped Essex County Council to unlock a significant redevelopment opportunity that was being blocked by four telecoms operators that had equipment on site. The operators were relying upon their statutory Code Powers granted under the ECC to remain on a school building.
The ECC operates completely separately from (and in addition to) all other forms of statutory security of tenure as well as privately negotiated contract terms. Working with the council’s legal advisors, LSH negotiated the early surrender of the commercial leases and the redeployment of equipment to a new standalone facility, thereby enabling the £15m redevelopment to proceed on time and at no penalty.
For further information or advice please contact Mark Walters on 0117 926 6666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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