Jubilee garden at risk of being dug up by BT

Opening of Jubilee Gardens, Battle. 1/6/12'High Sheriff David Allam. SUS-140327-111750001
Opening of Jubilee Gardens, Battle. 1/6/12'High Sheriff David Allam. SUS-140327-111750001

A COMMUNITY garden, which was opened in 2012 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, could be dug up by workmen.

The Diamond Jubilee Garden, near Battle’s ambulance station, was opened to the public after months of hard work from Beautiful Battle volunteers.

But to the group’s dismay, BT says it may need to dig up the site to install a five foot high and four foot long box and lay new broadband cables.

The news has come as a blow to Beautiful Battle, which recently entered the garden into the South & South East in Bloom competition.

Alan Gavin, secretary of Beautiful Battle, said: “This may well be pointless now as the disruption caused by BT will inevitably damage the area to the right of the path down to the road if done before the summer. Beautiful Battle has been paying for lawn treatment to ensure that the grass is at its best this summer and the plants, sponsored by Battle residents and local businesses, are well established. They may not survive moving.”

Mr Gavin said the group has yet to receive any communication from BT.

He said: “It is doubtful that BT’s contractors will show any sensitivity, but I may be maligning them!

“How much will they dig, where will they dump their equipment, what will they do with all the spoil from the trenching and how will they make good afterwards? All unanswered questions.

“A site visit with BT is vital for Beautiful Battle and I look forward to hearing from them should they accede to our request for a site visit.

“Beautiful Battle is not in agreement with the Diamond Jubilee Garden being dug up and a large green box in place of flowering shrubs, but who are we to prevent progress!”

A spokesperson for BT said: “BT is looking at alternative locations which would avoid building work near Diamond Jubilee Gardens. We are due to survey the alternative location within the next fortnight. However, if the survey on the alternative location is unsuccessful and we need to build by the gardens, then we would make good any upheaval cause during the build.

“Once we install the equipment in this area, a further 350 homes and businesses in Battle, East Sussex, will benefit from the high-speed fibre broadband technology. We aim to complete the work to add super-fast broadband to this area of Battle within the next three months. Fibre broadband is already available to more than 295,000 of homes and businesses in East Sussex. BT is also a major partner in eSussex, a project between East Sussex County Council and the Government’s BDUK department, which aims to ensure the county’s fibre broadband coverage reaches at least 96 per cent by 2016.

“BT’s roll-out of fibre broadband is advancing across East Sussex. More than 2.4 million homes and businesses across the UK are already using Openreach’s new fibre network via a range of retailers, bringing speed and choice to the UK.”