Advertising restriction on telephone kiosk outside prior approval remit

A telephone callbox on the pavement outside a London underground station was allowed by an inspector after a council denied prior approval under the provisions of Part 16 of Schedule 2 of the GPDO.

Measuring 1.32 x 1.11 metres to ensure full wheelchair access and constructed of powder-coated metal, the kiosk would be located in a town centre conservation area. The inspector did not agree with the council that the proposal would result in visual clutter in the street scene or that the detailed design of the kiosk appeared utilitarian and poorly proportioned. He found the functional design would be in keeping against a backdrop provided by a modern station building, bus shelters and other street furniture and would not detract from the character and appearance of the conservation area or the setting of a listed war memorial.  He also did not share the council's concern that pedestrian movement and safety would be impeded, noting the call box would be situated in a substantial footway approximately 12.3 metres wide.

The council suggested a condition requiring that the call box could not be used for the display of advertisements. Referring to the case of Infocus Public Networks Ltd v SSCLG and the Mayor of London 2010 that dealt with the issue of advertising on pay-phones, the inspector considered the local planning authority had sufficient powers to control advertisements, including discontinuance procedures and that, the potential for advertising should not be considered or conditioned when determining prior approval applications for telephone kiosks.

Inspector: Caroline Mulloy; Written representations

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