A telephone box in Tartaraghan, described as an “iconic piece of street furniture which is now increasingly rare”, is set to be listed.
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s planning committee was notified of the plans by the Department for Communities (DfC) at a recent meeting.
The kiosk is located outside 4 Obre Avenue, off the Clontylew Road.
A report presented to members of the committee said the reasons for recommending listing of the kiosk include its style, proportion, ornamentation, quality, survival of interior, age, authenticity, authorship, social and cultural economic importance, rarity and local interest.
In its survey, DfC describes the kiosk as a K6 model of cast iron construction built to Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s standardised design of 1935 and advises that despite the loss of the original glazed panels this is still an “iconic piece of street furniture which is now increasingly rare”.
It says the kiosk is within sight of the listed vernacular public house and greatly adds to the distinctiveness of the settlement of Tartaraghan. It also notes the kiosk appears at this location between 1954 and 1964.
It bears a St Edward’s crown motif which was introduced in the mid-1950s following Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. There is no relevant planning history on the site, it is adjacent to a local landscape policy area and is in close proximity to a number of listed buildings.
Council officers proposed a draft response advising that council has no objections to the proposed listing but it would be supportive of the property owner if they were to raise any concerns.
Alderman Gareth Wilson asked if the kiosk is listed can it be relocated if necessary.
“I am not quite sure as to process of de-listing something, even temporarily to get it moved but it sounds like a nightmare,” said Alderman Wilson.
“In this instance there is a property quite close and I know that some consultation takes place but in terms of the residents, should they be made more aware about this?
“It is down to this issue where residential views are not taken on board or given much weight in this process and that doesn’t sit well with me.”
A senior planning officer explained that in this case, Historical Environment Decision has a statutory obligation to consult with the owner of the kiosk and council.
“They told me BT was the owner and they had consulted with them,” said the planning officer.
“There is no public consultation on it. That is the only consultation there is.”
Councillor Paul Duffy said he was happy to propose the recommendation to approve Council’s draft response to this proposal but told the committee he agreed with everything Alderman Wilson had said.
“Who is to say they wouldn’t need disabled parking or anything like that in front of that house in years to come but we are where we are,” he said.
The committee’s chair, Alderman Glenn Barr asked if required, could the kiosk be “temporarily de-listed, moved a couple of metres and listed again”.
He was advised this was not possible with the senior planning officer explaining it is the actual structure that is listed.
“If anyone wanted to make any alteration, including an alteration to move it, they would have to apply for listed building consent,” said the planning officer.
Following this clarification, Councillor Fergal Donnelly said he was happy to second Councillor Duffy’s proposal and the chamber voiced its approval.