Row Over New Phone-Box Cashpoint

Saturday, 25th March 2017

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Cashpoint Alcester Road
Cashpoint Alcester Road

A cashpoint styled as a phone box may have to be removed because it doesn’t have the necessary planning permission, Birmingham city council has said. The cashpoint outside Pizza Express on Alcester Road appeared on the site of a former BT phone box at the beginning of March.

In an email to local councillors and groups representing local interests the council’s Principal Planning Officer (Planning and Regeneration) said he was registering an enforcement complaint with a view to getting the cashpoint removed.

“I have checked the relevant regulations and discussed with colleagues in the city centre, who have dealt with similar examples and am of the view that a planning application would be required for the cash machine/call box, because the principal use of the structure would be as a cash machine not a public call box and therefore would not benefit from permitted development rights,” he said.

Permitted development rights allow for certain changes or developments to take place without requiring planning permission.  But in designated areas of the country, such as conservation areas like Moseley, these permitted development rights are restricted.

The council official went on to explain further. “If the applicant made a case to us that it was permitted development, a prior approval application for siting and appearance would still need to be made to the local planning authority, given the site’s location within the Moseley Conservation Area.”

A spokesperson for Cashzone didn’t comment on the planning issue but emphasised the convenience the cashpoint offers: “At Cashzone, we join forces with banks, local communities and businesses to preserve people’s access to cash. The machine ensures a 24-hour cash service, which means that residents can rely on having access to their money whenever they need to.”