Residents of the area around The Bulls Head in Ewhurst are bewildered and angry over the proposed location for the new BT cabinet for FTTC broadband. A number of written objections to the planning application have been recorded on the Waverley web site and can be seen here. There is strong local opposition to the planned site; in front of a lovingly maintained grade II* listed cottage. This choice of location seems quite bizarre, when there are much more appropriate and environmentally sympathetic sites closer to the existing equipment in the Ewhurst Conservation Area. BT’s agents, The Harlequin Group, appear to have ignored all previous work by the ESHB group on identifying suitable spots. There have also been complaints about the response and attitude of a Harlequin representative to enquiries from concerned residents.
The majority of objectors suggest that the additional cabinet should be placed alongside the existing one, but Mike Turner of ESHB suggests that their favoured position is just around the corner “adjacent to the parking area outside the Fire Shield offices, tucked in to the fence bordering the Bull’s garden where it would not obstruct any footpath” (see photo below, courtesy Walter Willcox). A resident was informed by Harlequin that the site in the application was chosen for its proximity to a power source. Ewhurst Parish Council met with some of the residents affected last night, and are now considering how to respond to the planning application.