London SE1 community website

Street Clutter

Join in these discussions today! Log in or register.
Pages:  1 2 Next
Current: 1 of 2
Friday 20 May 2011 11.18am
When is a phone box not a phone box? When it's an advertising hoarding.

Two new phone boxes have appeared on Borough High Street near the British School of Osteopathy. I thought that such boxes were barely profitable nowadays and with a BT box nearby couldn't work out why three in such a small space would be needed.

Until that is the large advertising poster appeared on one of them. Not just the custom sized window sticker that BT boxes have, but a standard 4 Sheet Billboard poster. The average rental of one of these is around 1,000 a month (source

I am going to ask Southwark, but I am assuming they get paid a good rental for this? And that it has advertising consent?

I can just about live with this clutter if it allows the council to spend more money on essential services, but if they are only getting a few hundred pounds a year then I think they've been had!

Friday 20 May 2011 11.25am
A couple of these have appeared on Southwark Street too:!/se1/statuses/65441588897255424

Applications were submitted but had not been not determined at the time of the installation. I see they have now been approved - 10/PA/0030 & 10/PA/0032 - but I'm not sure how much discretion the council has on this sort of application, as it's for 'prior approval' rather than advertising consent or planning permission.

Since I last looked, there have been a number of objections tabled, including by Bankside Residents' Forum and prominent local architect Graham Morrison.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
Subscribe to our SE1 Direct weekly newsletter.
Friday 20 May 2011 11.33am
Thanks James.

The issue I still want to get to the bottom of is the rental of the land. Southwark is, I'm assuming?, owner of the footbath and therefore would need to rent the land to the phone box siter?

My other issue is that a separate advertising consent doesn't appear to have been applied for. Perhaps it isn't needed but I feel strongly that these are advertising hoardings with a phonebox attached rather than the other way round, ie it's a loophole being exploited.

None of the planning documents appear to show or mention the 4 Sheet on one side.
Friday 20 May 2011 11.46am
Truthmonkey, could you resize the photo?
Friday 20 May 2011 3.36pm
Southwark Council is unlikely to be getting any benefit from this. The rules relating to installing phone boxes (which are generally used only as advertising hoardings and are often inadequately maintained) are ridiculously slack. They are governed by the Electronic Communications Code: - the same rules apply to phone boxes as to street cabinets which contain essential telecommunications equipment.

Essentially, anyone who wants to instal a phone box can, by giving one month's notice to the relevant local authority. They don't need permission, just a lack of objection. Given the amount of work that needs to be done by a council such as Southwark, this is rarely seen as a high priority.

The person who has installed the phone box has a number of obligations under the Code, but these are not always rigorously enforced.

What is really needed is an amendment to the Code, to provide a different rule for phone boxes requiring explicit planning permission, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
Friday 20 May 2011 4.58pm
The one outside the British School of Osteopathy will soon be decorated with cards offering alternative methods of 'massage' to the BSO and correction lessons by Miss Caine.
Maybe the boxes are sponsored by the oldest profession.
Wednesday 1 June 2011 8.16am
Thanks for the advice Periguno. The only acceptable feature of these hoardings-with-phone for me was that there may be a boost to council income.

I will write to my local councillors and the planning department to inquire further. If these were just phone boxes I wouldn't expect much success but given the design I remain remotely hopeful of at least alerting them to the true nature.
Wednesday 1 June 2011 9.46am
I had a closer look at the ones on Southwark St and realised they're not even new; they appear to have done the rounds a bit with dents, hints of rust and screws missing.
Wednesday 1 June 2011 1.20pm
Are they the same type as the new ones on BHS, with a large advertising hoarding taking up one side?
Wednesday 1 June 2011 1.41pm
Did they dig up the streets (again) to lay the cables, or is there a wireless box inside the unit?
Pages:  1 2 Next
Current: 1 of 2

To post a message, please log in or register..
We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

Also on the forum
Views expressed in this discussion forum are those of the contributors and may not reflect the editorial policy of this website. Please read our terms and conditions