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BT agrees to move ’monstrous’ box

RESIDENTS at Aylesford have won their fight to have a BT “green monster” box moved from a conservation area in the centre of the village. The large broadband cabinet,

which houses fibre-optic broad- band equipment,was installed in a seating area in the village square, causing complaints that the loca- tionwas inappropriate. However, after Chatham and

Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch took up the villagers’ case, BT agreed to move the box to a less obtrusive site. In a letter to the company’s chief executive Gavin Patterson, she said: “Residents in the area are un- able to paint their doors or replace their windows without it being done in respect of the special sta- tus of the area, nor is anyone al- lowed a satellite dish on their roof. “For BT to put a large green box

in the square has upset residents, especially as there are suitable al- ternatives available.” She suggested another site 15 metres away where it would be against awall.

The boxes do not require plan-

ning permission and a BT spokesman said it had been put there because new equipment had to be sited near the existing net- work and services. But having seen the impact on the local area, an al- ternative site had been identified and a technical survey was taking place. Miss Crouch said she was pleased that common sense had prevailed and hoped that the “green monster” would soon be moved to somewhere more dis- creet. The row follows a similar issue

at Hadlow where BT agreed to move a green box after residents complained about its siting in the village square.

Scouts need practical help

SNODLAND Scout Group has had to re-apply to Tonbridge & Malling Council for permission for its new headquarters in Hol- borough Road because the pre- vious permission has expired. Group chairman, Steve Cameron, said: "The building company that had taken on the project did not comply with the conditions of the planning, in that samples of building materi- als were not supplied to the planning department." He said the Scouts needed the services of some professionals andwere seeking a project man-

ager, an architect and a struc- tural engineer. He has written to parents ask-

ing for help with digging out, building of footings and laying of the concrete slab, and from electricians, plumbers, carpen- ters, stud-wallers and plasterers. He also sent a list of addi-

tional equipment needed. Steve wrote: "If you or some-

one you know can help with any of these, whether it be materials or labour, please contact me on 07591 277560 or email or your child's section leader."

After-school club praised

AN Ofsted inspector who went to Ditton After School Club in New Road, Ditton rated its provision as good – up from satisfactory at its previous inspection. Due to good relationships with

staff, childrenwere able to develop a sense of belonging and settle quickly. They enjoyed a range of interesting activities. Staff communicated well with parents and teachers, supporting children’s learning between home, the club and school. They had a good knowledge of safeguarding and knew what procedures to fol- low if they had any concerns.

Children developed good com- munication and language skills through discussions and interac- tions with staff. They also behaved well, thanks to consistent behav- iour management strategies. The setting was not rated out- standing as staff did not always make the most of displays of pho- tos and artwork to encourage fur- ther learning and give the children the opportunity to talk about the pictures. Staffwere also encouraged to use teatime routines to help the chil- dren develop their independence skills.

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