BT accused of ‘barefaced cheek’ over bid to bypass orders to demolish Hampstead street furniture

Cllr Chris Knight with the BT Broadband box that was installed in Hampstead High Street without prio

Cllr Chris Knight with the BT Broadband box that was installed in Hampstead High Street without prior approval - Credit: Nigel Sutton

An audacious bid by BT to effectively bypass orders to demolish an “unsightly” equipment box by shifting it a few feet has been denied.

The telecommunications giant was this week refused permission by Camden Council to erect the green broadband box, which stands 5ft-high outside NatWest bank in Hampstead High Street, in another spot metres down the street at the junction with Gayton Road.

The company has already been told to demolish the much-despised original unit, which has been likened to a “Martian toolbox” by Cllr Chris Knight.

The Hampstead Town councillor said: “I was amazed they had the barefaced cheek to submit the new application as it’s only 20 metres away, so this is excellent news. It’s time BT really got their act together with this business of the boxes.

“We have conservation areas for a purpose and that’s to conserve the way they look, but they have no respect.”

BT has yet to remove the original box, which was built without planning permission and was refused retrospective consent last June.

Farokh Khorooshi, founder of Hampstead 2020, which campaigns to remove street clutter, said: “I was outraged at this application. These boxes are obnoxious and unsightly and it’s urban vandalism.”

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Despite being contacted, BT failed to make a comment by the time the Ham@High went to press.

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