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Broadband box 'makes Ilminster uglier'
A BROADBAND box is making Ilminster look uglier, it was claimed this week.
Peter Lansdown said the box, on the pavement in Ditton Street next to the corner shop, is one of a number of broadband boxes in the town, making it look a mess.
Contractors for BT are installing the boxes as part of a scheme to bring superfast broadband to rural communities across Somerset.
Mr Lansdown, 69, of Chaffcombe, said: “The pavement is wide and they [BT] have installed there a broadband box against the wall.
“There is a blind doorway there and they have put the box in front of the left hand pillar – central or well clear would both have been acceptable but not where it is.
“It is an irritant and there are other boxes in town which in themselves are unimportant but they each contribute to the diminution of the aesthetic quality of the town.”
The Government changed regulations in May so broadband providers do not require the consent of the Local Planning Authority to place a box.
Previously, they had to submit notification and get permission.
South Somerset District Council planning assistant Chloe Beviss, in an email to Mr Lansdown, said there were constraints in terms of broadband boxes’ proximity to existing boxes and that the council will ensure the box is painted black without any stickers or advertising.
Cllr David Norris, in another email to Mr Lansdown, said he agreed the cabinet could have been sited more sensitively but added: “It would be disingenuous of me to imply that SSDC can control where it is located.”
In an announcement last week, Ilminster was not one of the 31 towns and villages to be listed as receiving superfast broadband by March next year.
A BT spokesman said: “This is a major investment in Ilminster, which will make a big contribution to the future success of the town.
“We have three cabinets in the vicinity of Ditton Way and all have been located as planned. All are on the public highway and the correct process has been followed.
“They do not present an obstruction in any way and we feel that our planners have done the best job possible to minimise any visual impact.”
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