TALLER mobile phone masts will be allowed without planning permission as part of efforts to speed up 5G rollout and improve rural mobile coverage.

Currently phone masts higher than 25 metres, or 20 metres in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty, require full planning permission, but new rules have been approved to minimise the need to build more infrastructure, the Government said.

The reformed planning laws in England, announced by the Government last week, will allow mobile network providers to put more equipment than they currently can on phone masts, making it easier to share masts and increase mobile coverage areas.

The new 25 metre rule means some masts, which are taller than the Angel of the North at 20 metres, could be waved through without full planning permission, subject to prior approval by the planning authority.

Recent applications for phone masts in Ponteland, Greenhaugh and Rochester, which was later withdrawn, all received public objections due to their overbearing appearance on the landscape.

Upgrades to existing phone masts will be allowed without prior approval, so that they can be upgraded for 5G and shared between mobile operators.

New building-based masts will be placed nearer to highways to support better mobile coverage of the UK’s road networks, subject to prior approval.

Before amending the existing legislation, the government will carry out a technical consultation on the detail of the proposals, including the appropriate environmental protections and other safeguards, and the specific limits to be put on the widths and heights of phone masts.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP said: "Delivering much-needed new homes is at the heart of this Government’s mission to support people in every part of the country, and this means delivering the modern infrastructure needed to go with them.

"We’re taking forward plans to extend mobile coverage, particularly for those in rural areas, so everyone can benefit from the latest technology and the jobs, opportunities and growth that comes with this.

The reforms contribute to the Government's £1 billion deal with the mobile network operators to build a Shared Rural Network to improve poor mobile coverage. The Government hopes to increase mobile phone coverage throughout the UK to 95 per cent by the end of 2025.