South Hams District Council has been informed by BT that an additional 15 public payphones in the South Hams (see list below) have been identified for proposed removal in the on the basis of low usage.

The Council has been asked to consult with the public regarding the possible removal of these phone boxes. Details of the affected boxes, along with their usage can be found in the table below.

Final Decision

Decision by South Hams District Council in response to proposal by British Telecommunications plc for the removal of public call boxes pursuant to Part 2 of the Schedule to a Direction published by Ofcom on 14 March 2006 ('the Direction').

Telephone NumberAddressPostcodeDraft Decision Agree/Adopt/ObjectReasonsComments/Reasons
01548511314PCO PCO1  Hallsands, KingsbridgeTQ7  2EYAGREE - REMOVE No comments received
01548531310PCO PCO1  Frogmore, KingsbridgeTQ7 2NTAGREE - REMOVE No comments received
01548580365O/S Toilets Beesands, PCO1 Beeson, KingsbridgeTQ7 2HWAGREE - REMOVE No comments received
01548810495OPP.Challabrough Cottage PCO1  Ringmore, KingsbridgeTQ7 4HWAGREE - REMOVE No comments received
01548842136PCO PCO1 Cliff Road, SalcombeTQ8 8LDOBJECT - KEEPNO MOBILE SIGNAL; RELATIVELY HIGH USAGE PROVES NEEDThis should be retained as there is no mobile signal and the relatively high usage proves its need.
01548842138PCO PCO1 Bolt Head, SalcombeTQ8 8LLAGREE - REMOVE  
01752791603PCO PCO1 Woolwell Road, PlymouthPL6 7JWOBJECT - KEEPCommunity need; high residential density 
01752862243PCO PCO1 Heybrook Drive, Heybrook Bay, PlymouthPL9  0BWAGREE - REMOVE No comments received
01752862451O/S Cafe PCO1 Bovisand Lane, Down Thomas, PlymouthPL9 0AEAGREE - REMOVE No comments received
01752872248Wayleave PP1084 PCO1 Newton Hill, Newton Ferrers, PlymouthPL8 1AAADOPT It is understood that the landowner has agreed to adopt the telephone box for £1 in respect of which he has completed and returned the necessary agreement. In the event that the agreement is not completed, Newton & Noss Parish Council is prepared to consider adopting the phone box for £1.
01803752703Higher Ferry Crossing PCO1 Bridge Road, Kingswear, DartmouthTQ6 0DZAGREE - REMOVE At their meeting 11 Dec 2019, Kingswear Parish Council approved the removal of the Higher Ferry Crossing Payphone Kiosk.
01803832301PCO Coronation Park, North Embankment, DartmouthTQ6 9NLOBJECT - KEEPSocial and tourism need. High volume of residences.

As of January 2020, this phone box had been out of order/disconnected for an unknown period of time and so the reported usage is likely to be an inaccurate measure of recent demand. We therefore request the phone box be returned to a working condition to allow usage to be accurately measured.

We also note that, as part of the same consultation, Kingswear Parish Council have confirmed their agreement for the phone box at Higher Ferry Crossing (Bridge Road, Kingswear, Dartmouth TQ6 0DZ) to be removed. These two phone boxes face each other on opposite banks of the River Dart, therefore, with the removal of the Kingswear box, our phone box on the North Embankment will be the nearest for anyone arriving in Dartmouth by the Higher Ferry.
Coronation Park is also the main recreational area for the town, used by residents and visitors alike. It is also a popular venue for local festivals and events, plus offers facilities regularly used by local clubs and associations, a children's play area, RNLI lifeboat station and a slipway to the river for leisure craft.

It is for these reasons that Dartmouth Town Council object to the removal of this phone box and politely request it be retained for the benefit of our community and the many visitors to our town.

01803832388PCO PCO1 Ivatt Road, DartmouthTQ6 9LDOBJECT - KEEPHigh social housing in area; community need; high residential density.

When considering a request for the provision of a new Public Call Box (PCB) to meet the reasonable needs of a local community, OFCOM state that BT consider and allocate a score to a proposal based on three factors, which are therefore also relevant in any decision-making to remove a PCB. Applying this scoring system to the location of our existing PCB shows that, if we did not already have a phone box at Ivatt Road, our score would justify the provision of a new phone box.
Considering our existing PCB at postcode level, thereby against the most detailed level of data available from the 2011 Census our resulting scores are:

a) the size of the immediate community is 297 = SCORE 3. Note: this sits within the Dartmouth Townstal ward, which has a considerably larger population of 2597, all of whom rely on this as their only PCB.

b) Housing type is predominantly rented, the vast majority of which is social housing = SCORE 4-6, assume 4. Note: this conforms to the consultation requirements in that it is near predominantly social housing at the top of town, in an area of low average incomes. Census data confirms that employment is largely in tourism, retail, building trades and care work - there is disproportionately high employment in just three occupational categories of skilled trades, elementary trades, sales and customer service. Work is often seasonal and insecure and, as such, it is more likely that some residents may have no mobile phone or land line.

c) Access to existing PCB - there is no alternative provision within 1 mile = SCORE 4. Note: Should this PCB be removed, the next nearest phone box is 29mins walk away[3]. The Ivatt Road phone box is the only phone box located in the Townstal ward of Dartmouth, at the top of a steep hill. The topography of Dartmouth is such that all other PCBs are at the bottom of the hill in the lower town, and many residents would be physically unable to undertake an hour's walk up and down a hill of this gradient to access an alternative call box.

OFCOM states that 'where the total score is 10 or more [BT] shall grant the request for a new Public Call Box and related Call Box Services'. I believe our total score of 11 clearly demonstrates the requirement to retain our existing service. Furthermore, the phone box is strategically placed at a junction to the main road into Dartmouth from the A38 and neighbouring towns of Totnes and Kingsbridge and so is the first phone box visible to anyone entering Dartmouth via this route.
It is for these reasons that I, with the support of Dartmouth Town Council, object to the removal of this phone box and politely request it be retained for the benefit of our community.

01803862250Opp. No 1 Spedding Cott PCO1 Cott Road, Dartington, TotnesTQ9 6HYADOPT Dartington Parish Council would like to adopt the phone box.
01803866469PCO PCO1 Whiteley Avenue, TotnesTQ9 5FQOBJECT - KEEPHigh social housing in the are; community need; high residential density. 


To read the full decision schedule and the covering letter, please use the links below:

Draft Response

To see the initial Draft Response, please use the link below:

Icon for pdf BT Phone box removal Draft Notice [461.66KB] (PDF Download)

Previous Consultations

Icon for pdf BT Payphone Kiosk Removal [193.98KB]

BT advise that there is a 3 part consultation period, which ended on 23 October 2019.

To view the Schedule of Draft Notice Responses, please Icon for pdf click here [581.74KB].

To view the Final Notification Schedule , please Icon for pdf click here [342.15KB]

What is the process for removing a phone box?

BT advise that there is a 90 day consultation period ending on 23 February 2020. The process outlined by OFCOM involves:

  1. Initial notice placed by BT in affected phone boxes between 17 October 2019 and 12 November 2019 giving local residents 42 days to respond to the 'Local Authority Planning Department' with any comments.
  2. South Hams District Council then conduct a first consultation period (until 19 January 2019) to make a decision on comments received and advise of the decision for each affected phone box.
  3. South Hams District Council publishes its 'First Notification' i.e. a draft decision (to Secretary of State) stating whether the Council agrees with BT's decision to remove a phone box.
  4. A one month period is allowed to receive comments on the decisions regarding the affected phone boxes.
  5. South Hams District Council publishes its second notice (the 'Final Notification') which sets out the final decision and reasons behind it prior to submission to BT on 23 February 2020.
  6. The final notice including reasons for objecting to removal must be received by the Secretary of State Culture, Media & Sport and BT prior to the final consultation deadline (23 February 2020) otherwise BT will assume there is no objection to its removal.

BT has advised a notice was placed on each phone box between on 17 October 2019 and12 November 2019, giving 42 days to respond and advising any comments be sent to the Local Authority Planning Department.

Comments closed on 19 January 2020.