The red phone box in Reigate High Street is to remain a working payphone, with BT planning to repaint it next year.
Last year The Red Kiosk Company successfully applied for planning permission to convert the box into an office pod with scanning and printing equipment.
But last week Edward Ottewell, director at Red Kiosk, said the company in fact owns the empty box on the other side of the Old Town Hall (underneath the arches, beside Caffè Nero).
So it looks as though Red Kiosk’s application was simply filed for the wrong box.
Asked about the wear and tear that’s visible on BT’s High Street box, a BT spokesperson said repainting and any repair will be arranged for its 2019 schedule, which runs May to September (i.e. the drier months).
The spokesperson confirmed that BT owns the box and has no plans to remove the equipment. (There is a scheme where local authorities and charities could apply to adopt the box, but the spokesperson said that no-one’s applied.)
As for the empty box under the arches, Red Kiosk is considering its options. The box is one of many the firm purchased from BT following the decline of payphones. Companies such as Red Kiosk have previously converted boxes into coffee stalls, flower stands, community facilities and even a car dealership.
Edited 9 Oct 2018 15:30