Plan for free WiFi at Cuckfield Recreation Ground: planning application says scheme aims to bring more visitors and traders to the area
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North Ltd has applied via its agent KS Town Planning to install equipment at the park, including a 6m high column with a mounted wireless access point, a wireless access point attached to the pavilion roof, ducting and associated network infrastructure.
The reference for the application, which was validated on January 31, is DM/23/3213 and people can view it at pa.midsussex.gov.uk/online-applications.
The planning statement said: “North have been appointed by West Sussex County Council to deliver broadband services within several locations, including at Cuckfield Recreation Ground, through the Connected Space WiFi pilot.”
It said: “North will implement an external Wi-Fi service within locations across West Sussex selected by the County and District Councils, with the aim of encouraging increased visitors, traders, and those putting on outdoor events – all of which will support economic recovery and growth. Cuckfield Recreation Ground has been selected as a recipient location by Mid Sussex District Council.”
The planning statement said public realm spaces are now ‘significant sites for increasing economic activity’, adding that mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity is ‘a central part of modern life’. It said: “The Connected Spaces Wi-Fi Pilot aims to focus on rural/semi-rural outdoor settings like parks, market town centres, and seafronts, to deliver Wi-Fi in selected locations across the county where mobile connectivity is poor or requires improvement. The aim is to support businesses to survive, grow, and thrive, encouraging innovation, and leading to an improved customer experience for visitors, which in turn could increase footfall within the chosen areas, thus boosting the local economy.”
The statement said the 6m high column would be at the corner of the children’s play areas. It added that components would need to be installed inside the pavilion, including: internet backhaul (Sky Ethernet Fibre 1000/100 Mbps), an internet router and a network switch.
The statement added: “West Sussex County Council, working with Mid Sussex District Council, will play a key role in measuring the impacts that the improved connectivity has on the local area, businesses, and visitors as part of this pilot, which, if effective as expected, could be replicated across other areas of the county.”