Lewes District Council

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Planning
Lewes District Council
Southover House
Southover Road
Lewes
East Sussex
BN7 1AB

Tel: 01273 484420
planning@lewes.gov.uk
Fax: 01273 484452
Minicom 01273 484488

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Superfast Broadband

BT Openreach are rolling out their superfast broadband installation across the Lewes District. This will speed up internet links considerably, and help local homes and businesses to better run different services such as phones, interactive TV, computers, game consoles, and other gadgets, at the same time.

Openreach are liaising with local councils to fulfil the government’s initiative to provide two-thirds of the country with Super-Fast broadband (SFBB) by 2014.  This involves upgrading the network, by laying fibre optic cables over the current copper lines and the installation of DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) cabinets.  The existing PCP (Primary Connection Point) cabinets that house the copper cable need to be retained to provide a link to the new cabinets.  To provide this link the new cabinets have to be installed within 50m of the existing cabinet.
 
Openreach are an open communications infrastructure provider meaning that they have to allow access to every internet service provider in the country to use their network.  Currently not all service providers have fibre optic products available to the market, only copper products, this means that the copper cabinets have to be retained to be fair to the open market.
 
Fibre optic cables can carry massive amounts of information over much longer distances and much faster than copper, providing speedier coverage for customers.
 
Telecommunications providers have extensive permitted development rights to provide communications equipment without requiring a planning application.  However these rights do not apply within designated areas such as Conservation Areas and the South Downs National Park.  Within these designated areas the providers must apply to us or the National Park Authority for prior approval.
 
Prior approval applications can only consider the siting and appearance of the cabinets, no other matters can be considered.  Therefore any comments received with regard to the need or justification for the additional cabinets cannot legally be taken in to account when making a planning decision.
 
Consideration of the ‘siting’ may involve the layout of the surrounding area, openness and visibility of the site, the impact on designated areas and listed buildings, the siting in relation to existing structures or buildings and street furniture such as lamp posts and signs.  With regard to ‘appearance’ this can include details such as materials, colour, design, dimensions and overall shape.
 
You can see full details of the applications currently being considered by us on our Planning Application Search page and follow the instructions if you wish to Comment on an Application.  Please remember that the only factors we can consider are those listed above with regard to the siting and appearance.
 
Further information on Superfast Broadband can be found at Openreach