Telephone cabinet 'looks like the Tardis' - councillor - The Evesham Observer

Telephone cabinet 'looks like the Tardis' - councillor

Evesham Editorial 22nd May, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016   0

AN EVESHAM councillor has claimed a newly built telephone cabinet on the site of the town’s former telephone exchange ‘resembles the Tardis’.

Coun Colin Tether, who sits on Evesham Town Council, has hit out at Arqiva who have built a telecommunications cabinet on the site of the telephone exchange on Abbey Road.

The grey box, which is now surrounded by metal railings, gained planning approval from Wychavon District Council in February of last year and will provide a secure communication network for the emergency services.

However, the town councillor has claimed the council has been ‘misled’ over the plans as Arqiva did not provide documents to show what the cabin would like once built.

Speaking to the Observer, Coun Tether said the telephone cabinet is an ‘inappropriate’ location on the approach to the town centre.

“I believe the planning authority and indeed the town have been seriously misled by this application and it looks like we are stuck with a box resembling the Tardis from Doctor Who,” Coun Tether said.

“The whole box has been surrounded by tall ugly railings so if Dr Who is in there, sadly he cannot get out to rescue our town.

“It is quite inappropriate in the setting within the approach to our historic town centre.

“It is important to note that the application did not show any view of the cabinet and only showed other equipment in the same application with a view from the rear of the telephone exchange.

“I also note that the current state of the gardens in front of the Telephone Exchange is deplorable, with the grass and weeds growing high.”

Responding to the claims, a spokesperson for Arqiva said: “This equipment is part of a secure communications network for the fire, police and ambulance services, and is needed to replace an installation at Evesham Fire Station which is to be redeveloped.

“The replacement needs to be as close as possible in location to cover the same area.

“Before making the application to Wychavon District Council in January last year, Arqiva’s agents wrote to four Wychavon ward councillors, Evesham Town Council and surrounding residents and businesses.

“The elevation drawing was intended principally to show the rooftop antennas.

“It is true that it did not show an elevation of the cabin, but the cabin was clearly shown on the plan drawing and we could have provided more detail had anyone requested it.

“Our agents received only one response which did not relate to the appearance of the scheme.

“Wychavon Council confirmed their approval of the scheme in February,” he added.

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