Objections look set to be raised against plans by BT to remove iconic red phone boxes in villages across the Daventry district.
BT has contacted Daventry District Council with proposals to remove 49 phone boxes in total from around Daventry district, 16 of which are the traditional red ‘K6’ telephone boxes.
After initially consulting parishes and other interested individuals, the council has now published the first draft of its official response to BT’s proposals and is encouraging residents to give their views on it.
DDC says it plans to object to the removal of all 16 red telephone boxes on the grounds that they are important to the district’s heritage.
It has also applied to Historic England to grant the majority of them listed status to help protect them in the future. DDC may however agree for BT to decommission the phones inside eight of the red boxes if they are adopted by the local parish councils or residents.
The council also plans to agree to the removal of 22 modern phone boxes proposed by BT, but objects to the other 11, either because the call levels suggest there is a demand in the area they are in and they provide a valuable local resource, or they are located in areas where mobile phone reception is poor.
The initial draft response – known as the First Notification – can be viewed at www.daventrydc.gov.uk/consultation.
People can reply by post to Local Strategy Service, Daventry District Council, Lodge Road, Daventry NN11 4FP.
People have until 5pm on Wednesday, December 21 give their feedback. Councillors will then consider a final response to BT at its Strategy Group meeting in January.
Cllr Alan Hills, DDC portfolio holder for community, culture and leisure, said: “Red phone boxes are iconic features in many of our villages and form part of our district’s distinct heritage so we believe they should all be kept and protected.
“We also looked at all of the modern phone boxes listed by BT for removal and the numbers of calls made from them. It’s apparent that they are still an important community resource in some areas. Also, some are in places with poor mobile reception and may be important for emergency calls. However, it seems that some others could be removed without any real harm.
“We would encourage those with an interest in these issues to give their views before the consultation deadline to ensure they have had their say.”
Red phone boxes are instantly recognisable internationally as an iconic design symbol of 20th century British architecture.
The red K6 phone boxes were designed by the architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) and were produced in 1935 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V. This model was the first public telephone to be installed nationwide.
The 16 K6 red phone boxes proposed by BT for removal are located in the following villages: Charwelton, Church Brampton, Cold Ashby, Coton, Cottesbrooke, Hanging Houghton, Holdenby, Long Buckby, Newnham, Nobottle, Old, Onley, Sibbertoft, Spratton, Staverton and Winwick.