BT has submitted plans for five new Street Hubs in Winchester city centre.

The hubs will replace the more traditional phone boxes, which have been in the city for decades.

As well as having device charging, free emergency calls and air quality monitoring, they will also have two adverts on each hub.

They are planned to be placed at: 3 Jewry Street (outside Mr So), 152 High Street (outside Chococo), 125 High Street (outside Vodafone), 108-109 High Street (outside O2) and 71 St George's Street (outside Primark).

Hampshire Chronicle:

A Jewry Street wine bar has already submitted a public objection to Winchester City Council, saying it would have a negative impact on the business.

Elizabeth Dear, general manager of Greens Wine Bar, said: “As a neighbouring hospitality business with a table and chairs licence adjoining the proposed site, there will be many negative impacts on our business.

Hampshire Chronicle:

“First and foremost the aesthetic. Winchester is a historic city and this factor keeps a visiting footfall high for us. A large LED screen will change the style and appeal of our frontage dramatically and negatively.

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“Secondly, the light cast from the screens will intrude on our table and chairs area especially at night, affecting the experience of our customer negatively.

“Thirdly the clientele an anonymous internet public phone will attract in a time when everyone has a mobile phone, are the type of clientele I do not want hanging around the front of our business.

Hampshire Chronicle:

“I feel really strongly that this will be bad for Greens, for Jewry Street and for Winchester.”

David Munday, of Whitebeam Close, Winchester, submitted an objection to all five proposals. He said: “These are advertising displays (not a street hub!!) and are an eyesore as well wasteful use of power. They block the pavement and provide nothing for the local population.”

Winchester MP Steve Brine said: “The locations are poorly chosen, they clutter the pavements and they’re not in the remotest bit compatible with a heritage city like Winchester. My hunch is we don’t want a giant glass mobile phone shaped piece of street furniture telling us all the things we can get on our smartphones if we so choose. I hope Winchester City Council will stand against this when they have to make the decision.”

Hampshire Chronicle:

A BT spokesperson said: “We believe Winchester would benefit from the improved functionality offered by Street Hubs including free ultra-fast WiFi, rapid device charging and the potential for enhanced mobile connectivity.

“Street Hubs also take up less space on high streets than traditional payphones and can provide further benefits such as air quality monitoring for local authorities.”

Some Winchester City Councillors have called for the plans to be sent to the planning committee. Cllr Mark Reach said: "These huge advertising boards have no place in our city centre. They would block the pavement, clutter up our High Street and spoil the views of our ancient buildings. Their bright light would shine 24 hours a day, wasting electricity at a time when many of us are struggling to pay our bills."