– November 21, 2023

“A mobile phone base station is to be built next to my house. How can I oppose this?”

Very few people would be happy if a mobile phone base station were to be built next to their house. What you can do about it and what objections are possible under certain circumstances.

A building permit is required for the construction of a mobile radio installation. The project must therefore comply with the provisions of public and private law. This means that, in principle, action can be taken against the construction of a mobile radio installation in the same way as against any other building permit. You can read how the building objection procedure works here.

Possible objections

  • Radiation protection

With regard to radiation in particular, it must be checked whether the legal immission limits for the protection of humans, animals and plants are complied with. According to Art. 4 of the Ordinance on Protection against Non-Ionizing Radiation (NISV), as it applies to mobile radio installations, installations must be constructed and operated in such a way that the precautionary emission limits specified in Annex 1 of the NISV are complied with. If it is certain or expected that one or more immission limit values in accordance with Annex 2 of the NIRV will be exceeded, the authorities will impose additional or stricter emission limits in accordance with Art. 5 NIRV.

In the NIRV, the Federal Council has also set installation limits that are below the immission limits. Although they are not directly related to proven health hazards, they have been set in accordance with technical and operational feasibility and economic viability in order to minimize the risk of harmful effects, the extent of which is both scientifically and legally established.

  • Site selection procedure

According to the case law of the Federal Supreme Court, the mobile phone provider must also provide evidence of careful site selection. This means that priority must be given to erecting mobile radio installations at more suitable locations.

  • Landscape protection

According to §140 Para. 1 PBG/LU, buildings and facilities in the canton of Lucerne must be integrated into the surrounding buildings and landscape. Their erection is not permitted if their size, proportions, design, type of construction, roof shape or color detract from the townscape and landscape. Mobile phone antennas can have a negative impact on the townscape and landscape, particularly due to their height and in exposed locations (on a prominent building, on a hill, etc.). In order to mitigate the effects, the licensing authority can impose design conditions.

In addition to the right of objection in the approval procedure, neighbors directly affected and persons living within a certain radius have the right to take civil action under neighbor law to defend themselves against excessive impacts on their own property and a reduction in its value.

In summary, it should be noted that there may be numerous grounds for an objection (under public law) or a complaint (under private law) against the construction of a mobile radio installation, which must be examined and justified on a case-by-case basis.

If you have any questions in Planning and Construction Law, our lawyers will be happy to advise you.