26th Jun, 2022

Advertising giant JCDecaux loses appeal against council decision to reject new phone booths

John Carlon 24th Feb, 2020

GLOBAL advertising corporation JCDecaux has lost an appeal against Solihull Council over nine new phone booths.

JCDecaux, the world’s biggest outdoor advertising group, had appealed against a decision by the borough to refuse permission for phone booths in the town centre.

The Planning Inspectorate sided with Solihull Council, which won on a technicality that applications for ‘electronic communications’ could only be submitted by their operator.

The council had also suggested the kiosks, which would include large LCD commercial displays, would be damaging to heritage aspects in Solihull.

Locations for the kiosks included sites along the High Street and in Mell Square.

A specification guide for the kiosks includes solar panels, a touch-screen key pad, phone charging point and environmental monitoring for ‘smart cities.’

Planning permission is not needed for street furniture, which falls under ‘general permitted development’.

But the Planning Inspectorate ruled that as the proposals had ‘a dual purpose’ they did not comply with permitted street furniture.

When notifying the council of plans for the kiosk, Nathan Still, agent for the company, stated: “[The] development is permitted under [the order] and therefore the purpose of the submission is confined to the consideration of siting and appearance rather than the principle of the payphone installation.”

A spokeswoman for JCDecaux said it did not wish to comment.

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