‘It’s just ridiculous’ – Public outrage as four new green telecom boxes block popular bench view in Royston

Four telecom boxes have been installed in front of a bench at the edge of Priory Gardens in Royston.

Four telecom boxes have been installed in front of a bench at the edge of Priory Gardens in Royston. Picture: Keith Truman - Credit: Archant

People in Royston have been left gobsmacked by a decision to install four new green telecom boxes directly in front of a bench in the town’s Priory Gardens.

The extra boxes, which were set up alongside one already on the site, block the view from the bench which faces the roundabout linking Priory Lane, Melbourn Street and Newmarket Road.

Beverley Williams took to the ‘Royston – Past’ group on Facebook to share her annoyance with others from the town. She said: “The phone companies obviously think it was a smart move to install additional eyesores in front of a popular bench where many of us enjoying sitting watching the world go by!”

Tony Wilson lives a few minutes away from the spot and said: “It’s just awful.

“They could easily have put these hideous green boxes behind the wall just round the corner if they have to be situated in this area or better still, in the town hall car park.”

Malcolm Williams has lived in Royston for 57 years.

“I have no intention of moving out of this most beautiful part of Hertfordshire,” he said.

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“But I am astonished that after all the investment and improvements around the roundabout somebody agreed this when all that was needed was to maybe consider putting them behind the hedge.”

Keith Truman added: “It’s just ridiculous. The position of these boxes in such a prominent place spoils both a view of the town park from the road and blocking what was a very nice view over the lovely flowers on the roundabout.”

Perplexed passers-by initially blamed North Herts District Council for the move, but while the council maintain the land where the boxes were installed, it could not be confirmed who the land was registered to.

As the Crow went to press, the registered owner of the land was still unknown and it is not clear what mobile phone network is responsible as there are signs relating to both Three and EE providers.

Councillor David Levett, responsible for planning and enterprise at the district council, said: “We can confirm that the cabinets are not on council land.

“A prior approval application for the additional cabinets associated with an existing mast to enable 4G coverage, was received by the Council on June 1, 2016 and approved on July 18, 2016. Formal planning permission is not required for telecommunications developments of this scale. The cabinets are therefore authorised to be installed in their current location.”