NTBCC submitted an objection to the above application and welcome its prompt refusal.
A summary of our objection is outlined below.
This proposal within the New Town & Broughton Community Council’s area forms part of a wider pan-Edinburgh series of applications for the installation of BT ‘Street Hubs’ which are essentially double-sided digital advertising display units with static but frequently rotating content – the majority of which aim to replace redundant BT phone kiosks.
We note that the proposed location is on the periphery but just outwith the (Old and) New Town World Heritage site but the site does sit within the New Town Conservation area.
Generally, the New Town & Broughton Community Council would support removal of redundant (i.e. infrequently used) BT phone kiosks. These kiosks have often been subject to either vandalism to some degree or locations that attract anti-social behaviour or more typically targeted as suitable locations for graffiti or fly-posting. However, whilst this application proposes removal of a currently under-utilised and graffiti’d kiosk on Dundas Street, it also proposes replacing the redundant kiosk with a BT ‘Street Hub’.
We have considered the proposed benefits as listed in the application documents for BT ‘Street Hubs’ and although there may be elements that could be beneficial to local residents; based on reported (albeit anecdotal in part) evidence from other UK cities which have already approved similar installations, we remain unconvinced that there are sufficient real benefits to support this proposal versus the significant disbenefits as outlined in our full submission
Therefore, given the above and that the proposal is, in our view, contrary to a number of current LDP policies (being Des 1, Des 5 and Env 6) and associated non-statutory guidance (‘Guidance on Advertisements, Sponsorship and City Dressing’), we would wish to register our formal objection to this application as presented.
Although the deadline for submitting comments has now passed, we would also urge Planning officers to refuse the associated 22/02527/ADV application (‘2 No LED Digital Displays’ : Proposed Telecoms Apparatus 16 Metres West Of 117 Dundas Street New Town Edinburgh). (However, as of 29 June, this application was still ‘Awaiting Assessment’).