The Evening Standard reports that there are plans for 86 new phone boxes to be installed across the West End. 18 are earmarked for Oxford Street alone, with others in Piccadilly, Strand, Buckingham Palace Road and Baker Street as well as Covent Garden and Marylebone High Street. Applications to install them were lodged with the council last month by a company called Maximus Networks, owned by the founder of an outdoor advertising business. Each would provide 1.3m x 2m of ad space. Westminster councillors fear they will be “stalking horses” used mainly for advertising, with the phones themselves largely obsolete because most people carry mobiles. The boxes will not have a wi-fi connection. However, the council has only limited powers to block them, or the advertising they carry, under “permitted development” rules and it is asking the Government for new legal powers.
The Association has already objected to the ones in Marylebone (See Planning Responses January)