Government says BT free to install much-hated broadband boxes across Hampstead

PUBLISHED: 16:43 26 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:46 26 June 2013

Cllr Chris Knight with much-despised BT broadband box that no longer needs planning permission

Cllr Chris Knight with much-despised BT broadband box that no longer needs planning permission

© Nigel Sutton email

There was bad news this week for anyone disturbed by BT’s habit of littering the streets with clunky green boxes to power super-fast broadband Internet services.

Conservationists in Hampstead fought long and hard to have one particular box in front of NatWest in Hampstead High Street removed and this time last year were celebrating after the telecoms giant was denied retrospective planning permission.

But, after a series of appeals and attempts to shift the box a few yards down the road, it seems BT has finally succeeded in circumventing that ruling as the government has now decided no planning permission is required – even in conservation areas.

It seems nothing can now stop BT from dumping these 5ft-tall units wherever it pleases.

Cllr Chris Knight, of Hampstead Town, said: “I’m just totally appalled that these people can come into a conservation area and do as they please. It’s shameful.

“We have spent so much time and effort decluttering our streets to bring Hampstead back to looking as it should, and these people are allowed to come along and do as they please.”

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