Plans to build Sutton’s first BT InLink kiosks at several locations in the borough have been thrown out by Sutton Council.

Telecommunications giant BT submitted proposals to install four of the units in Beddington's The Broadway, Brighton Road, Sutton High Street, and Stafford Road.

Replacing existing payphones, these hubs aim to provide the public with free Wi-Fi, mobile phone charging points, and the ability to make phone calls.

Though they have been met with criticism as concerns have been raised by both other councils and residents in areas where they have been built so far.

But recent applications put forward for ones in Sutton were refused planning permission on October 1.

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A BT InLink kiosk. Photo: Philipp Ammon

In refusal notices for all four of them, one of the two reasons says that the kiosks would “unnecessarily increase street furniture, giving rise to increased clutter within the public realm”.

This would be to the “significant detriment” to the town centre streetscene, the notice adds.

The other is that the applications for prior approval don’t meet a key part of the Town and Country (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

This is because it’s “not considered to be for the purpose of the electronic operator’s communication network and it’s not required for these purposes”.

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A BT spokesman said: "We are disappointed by the decision made by Sutton Council which we will review and discuss with them. Our new InLink units typically replace two payphones, creating space on our pavements.

"The new InLinks have been installed across London and in cities all over the UK, including Leeds, Glasgow, Newcastle and Swansea.

"The benefits of free UK calls, free ultrafast Wi-Fi, free access to local information and mobile charging points are now being enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people."

There are currently 237 active InLinks across London – with 163 more coming soon – according to BT at the time of publishing.

Sutton does not have one at the moment, while the nearest kiosks are planned for London Road in Mitcham and two near Morden train station.

However, they have been criticised in some boroughs across the city during their rollout.

Some believe they are an “eyesore”, while others have feared that they attract antisocial behaviour and intrusions of privacy.