PLANS have been refused to install a hi-tech 75-inch advertising digital display in Stroud high street.

Telecoms giant British Telecom (BT) requested permission from Stroud District Council last month to bring a so-called 'street hub' to the high street outside Greggs. 

But council bosses have described the proposed column as ‘alien’, ‘incongruous’, ‘cluttered’ that would bring ‘unacceptable harm’ to the character and appearance of the town centre. 

The double-sided hubs, which have already been set up in cities across the UK, would have featured a fully accessible tablet interface and digital HD display. 

They will have also offered free Wi-Fi, calls, phone charging, weather, maps and directions.

The proposals, however, were rejected due to their impact on the town centre, where councillors expressed concern about potential noise impacts and the impact on bats.

The 75-inch structure was described by Stroud Town Council as a 'visual intrusion' that would be 'clutterous' and a 'impediment' to pedestrians during busy times.

Stroud News and Journal: An artist's impression of a proposed BT Street Hub in Stroud high street outside Greggs An artist's impression of a proposed BT Street Hub in Stroud high street outside Greggs  (Image: BT)

Similarly, Gloucestershire Police also said they were concerned by BT’s plans.

A police spokesperson expressed worries about the potential misuse of the 999 call button, the introduction of free wifi, stalking and hoax phone calls, distraction crimes, and the lighting interfering with existing high street CCTV.

One of the reports in the decision said: “There is no demonstrable justification for the need of the proposed advertisement display which would appear visually assertive and discordant with the character and appearance of the street scene. 

“The proposed hub will appear visually discordant resulting in harm to the quality of public realm visually whilst making further cluttered and less easy to navigate and thus eroding the distinctive character of the high street. 

“Its installation would create an alien and incongruous feature that would not integrate well with the historic core high street setting." 

In the application BT claims street hubs combat anti-social behaviour by blocking suspicious call patterns and numbers if a unit is being misused for illegal activity.

It is currently unknown if the district council's decision will be appealed by BT. 

To view the application in full, visit the council website, quoting reference -S.23/0114/FUL.