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Brighton complaint over BT fibre cabinets

Conservation groups oppose new street cabinets

Residents in Brighton and Hove are complaining about the broadband cabinets being installed by BT Openreach in a bid to roll out superfast broadband in the area.

The telecoms firm applied to the council for planning permission to install the green cabinets, which at 1.8m tall are bigger than the current telephone street cabinets. In some instances they will replace the existing street cabinets.

Brighton and Hove council has already granted permission for a number of the cabinets to be installed, but permission for 51 sites remains outstanding.

However, six conservation groups claim the plans haven't been given enough consultation and the planning permission should be put on hold.

According to The Argus, the group's stated in a letter said they are "worried both about the lack of more general consultation and the impact that these monster cabinets could have, both within and outside conservation areas, if they are simply installed wherever Openreach finds most convenient."

"There is no doubt we have to move with the times and that we need super-fast broadband, especially in a vibrant city like Brighton," said Stephen Neiman of The Regency Society, one of the six conservation groups that signed the letter.

"Having said that, I'm not convinced the solution put forward by BT is the right and proper one. We are not saying no – we just want to be consulted."

BT said it fully appreciates the concerns of the conservation and amenities committees regarding the sitting of our super-fast broadband cabinets in certain parts of the city.

"We are committed to working with local authorities to minimise the visual impact of the new street cabinets, and have done this successfully in other conservation areas."

Residents of Muswell Hill, one of the first areas of the UK to get BT's fibre broadband service, voiced similar concerns last year.

See also: BT to give 87% of London fibre broadband by 2011

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