Haringey Council rejects BT digital screens for Crouch End Broadway
- Credit: BT
Haringey Council has rejected a planning application from BT to install two 3m-high digital screens outside Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End.
The local authority said that the location, size and illumination of two “street hubs” on the Broadway would harm the conservation area’s appearance, in a decision made by a planning officer on Wednesday (July 14).
Six objections were lodged to the council, including by the Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum (CENF). The screens would have replaced two phone boxes and provided Wi-Fi, charging, information and advertising.
BT, which recently submitted plans to install a street hub outside the Everyman cinema in Muswell Hill, said it was “disappointed” over the refusal, claiming that the proposal would have delivered “community benefits”.
But Mark Afford, CENF’S chair, challenged any purported public gain, expressing concerns over the widespread impact of advertising products such as junk food.
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He said: “What we want is to rid ourselves of all the dilapidated payphones, improve the bus shelter, rationalise the bins and seating, all whilst supporting the ongoing revamp of the entire Town Hall Square.
“It's an opportunity for Haringey and the other stakeholders to act in the interest of Crouch End town centre.”
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In the planning officer’s decision, under “internal consultation”, it stated: “The proposal would further detract from the character of buildings and their area and is contrary to key principles of respect, retention and unveiling of the features of special interest of historic buildings and places.”
Following the decision, Lewis Freeman, chair of the Crouch End Traders Association, said that any future proposals for the “ugly, congested” strip should be paused until the Far East Consortium’s works on the Town Hall are complete.
A BT spokesperson said: “Our planning team will continue to work closely with Haringey Council to understand their concerns as we discuss options to upgrade existing payphones across the area.
“Over 400 of our existing Street Hub units are already delivering a wide range of economic, social and technology benefits to communities and local councils up and down the country – from connecting local residents, businesses and visitors to free ultrafast Wi-Fi, to ensuring that people can contact the emergency services or charity helplines in times of need.
The spokesperson added: “We will continue to work collaboratively with local authorities as we look to install Street Hub 2.0 units across the UK.”