For many in Newbury, the BT tower is the ugliest building in town. Some say it dominates and humiliates the Town Centre. The Town Council has been calling on BT to do something about it, but with only very limited success. At the last meeting of the Town’s Planning and Highways Committee it was reported that BT would be considering the matter at an infrastructure review meeting, setting budgets for next year. The Committee felt that BT should invite the Council to that meeting, to make its case for BT to tackle this problem.
“We understand that the Tower was constructed at a time when bodies such as BT did not need planning permission for their buildings. The tower was constructed before the Town Council was formed. However, you can imagine the reaction today if a developer presented us with proposals to build something like that in our wonderful town centre!”. So said Councillor Gary Norman, the Chairman of the Planning & Highways Committee. “BT is a massive company, with annual turnover in the region of £24 Billion pounds. It’s time the company addressed this matter and took some real action to deal with this. We are not asking BT to demolish the tower but we want them to take real and meaningful steps to reduce the visual impact it has on our town centre.”
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Martin Colston, supports his colleagues on the Planning Committee. He points out that BT’s Annual Report says that BT want to make a better world.
“They say that they want to deliver their goods and services in a socially and environmentally responsible way. The Chief Executive, Philip Jansen says that BT is committed to respecting human and digital rights and continue to tackle environmental challenges, having recently announced our ambition to be a net zero carbon emissions business by 2045.”
He added, “Well, the BT tower in Newbury is not an example of services being delivered in an environmentally responsible way and does not respect the human rights of the people of Newbury. We want to see BT tackle this environmental challenge now and do the right thing by the people of Newbury”