Campaigners call for ‘illegal’ BT box to be pulled down

Residents are calling on Camden Council to demolish a “monstrous” BT box which they claim has been illegally built right in the heart of Hampstead Village.

The telecoms company erected a 5ft equipment cabinet in Hampstead High Street outside NatWest bank, but has done so without planning permission from Camden Council.

Farokh Khorooshi, founding member of the Hampstead 2020 vision, which removes “unnecessary” street furniture from the village, said the green cabinet should go.

“We’ve helped remove more than 400 signs and lampposts in two years and here is BT, with a total disregard for the conservation area, plonking this monstrosity right in the middle of Hampstead,” he said. “Camden should knock it down.”

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A BT spokeswoman said the cabinet was for super fast internet connection in the area and it was not always obliged to seek planning permission. She added that the company is investigating the complaint.

Hampstead Town Cllr Chris Knight said: “It’s an underhand approach from BT because it works on the principle that the council is slow to pick up on these things.

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“I would really urge people to contact the council with their objections.”

People can comment on the retrospective planning application until May 31.

The council is due to decide on the planning bid before June 9 and if it fails, the box will be demolished.