Tree blocks superfast broadband for EasthampsteadBy Julie Spencer
August 14, 2012
Plans for a telecoms cabinet to bring superfast broadband to people living in Easthampstead were refused in case it damaged a hornbeam tree.
Planners at Bracknell Forest Council refused the application from BT OpenReach on advice from the council’s tree officer so the hornbeam’s roots would not be damaged.
The application from the Harlequin Group planning consultancy, acting on behalf of BT OpenReach, proposed siting the green DSLAM cabinet at the Rectory Lane junction with Saffron Road to increase broadband speeds for around 200 homes in the immediate area.
Telecommunications equipment does not require planning permission unless it is within a conservation area or affects road visibility, and cabinets have already been installed in other parts of the town.
In their report, planning officers say the cabinet would not be visually prominent or out of keeping with the street which is part of the Easthampstead Conservation Area.
However, the borough’s tree officer reported that the hornbeam, although not covered by a preservation order, could be damaged by digging during the installation and the application was refused on July 12.
Jo Ritter, planning consultant with the Harlequin Group working on behalf of BT OpenReach, said they planned to resubmit the application with details of how the ducting between the new cabinet and the existing junction would be re-routed to avoid the hornbeam.
Installing a DSLAM cabinet which is connected to an existing junction box means Superfast Broadband can be supplied to properties without digging a trench and ducting cable to each house.
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