Phone kiosks incorporating adverts not permitted development

An inspector rejected seven concurrent prior approval appeals involving telephone kiosks in a Sussex city after deciding they were not solely for the purpose of the operator's network and therefore not permitted development.

Having regard to the judgement in Westminster CC v SSHCLG & New World Payphones Ltd 2019 that found that Schedule 2, Part 16, Class A of the GPDO includes a purpose test such that the whole development for which prior approval is sought must fall within the Class relied on, the inspector identified the main issue as whether or not the kiosks were solely for the purpose of the operator’s electronic communications network.

The Westminster judgement found the telephone kiosk in that case had a dual purpose in that it had a purpose of advertising in addition to the purpose of the operator’s telecommunications network. In the cases before her, the inspector noted that the digital totem apparatus proposed included an illuminated LCD display screen of considerable size for the purpose of displaying advertisements. Given also the corresponding applications for advertisements under the advert regulations, she decided the equipment would have a dual purpose of communication and advertising. As such, the kiosks would not wholly fall within Class A and she dismissed the appeals.

Inspector: Helen O’Connor; Written representations

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