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> Newbury's tallest (and ugliest?) building, BT exchange tower
Claude
post Jun 2 2017, 02:01 PM
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As I walked down the hill from the war memorial at the junction of Speen Lane and Old Bath Road, towards Northcroft leisure centre, my eye was drawn to the multi-storey tower in the town centre.

Now the Sterling Cables tower is no more, is the BT exchange tower (is that its name?) now the tallest and ugliest building in the town? Ok, maybe there are uglier buildings, and I appreciate that's subjective and some will have grown to love it, but there can't be many that are bigger.

Who owns it? What's its official name? What's inside? How many floors are there and are they all in use? Have you ever been inside? What's the likelihood of it being knocked down and redeveloped into residential property?

What do you know about it?
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Biker1
post Jun 2 2017, 02:13 PM
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QUOTE (Claude @ Jun 2 2017, 03:01 PM) *
Who owns it?

BT sold off most of it's property to a leasing company. Can't remember their name.
QUOTE (Claude @ Jun 2 2017, 03:01 PM) *
What's its official name?

Newbury Telephone Exchange.
QUOTE (Claude @ Jun 2 2017, 03:01 PM) *
What's inside?

Telecommunications equipment
QUOTE (Claude @ Jun 2 2017, 03:01 PM) *
How many floors are there and are they all in use?

6 plus basement and no!
QUOTE (Claude @ Jun 2 2017, 03:01 PM) *
Have you ever been inside?

Yes.
QUOTE (Claude @ Jun 2 2017, 03:01 PM) *
What's the likelihood of it being knocked down and redeveloped into residential property?

I would say almost zero!
QUOTE (Claude @ Jun 2 2017, 03:01 PM) *
What do you know about it?

A fair bit!
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Andy Capp
post Jun 2 2017, 04:49 PM
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I understand the BT tower sits on top of a pile of telecoms cable and no one has a clue where they go.
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x2lls
post Jun 2 2017, 08:57 PM
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It is a prime place for conversion to housing. It was done in Basingstoke, ex IBM building.


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Biker1
post Jun 3 2017, 06:40 AM
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QUOTE (x2lls @ Jun 2 2017, 09:57 PM) *
It is a prime place for conversion to housing. It was done in Basingstoke, ex IBM building.

No it's not.
IBM in Basingstoke was basically a block of offices, easy to relocate or close.
A telephone exchange is a much bigger challenge!
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On the edge
post Jun 3 2017, 07:29 AM
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Interesting site, from the telephone exchange to the Post Office all previously GPO property and probably in single ownership. Sure the cabling is complex, but it's all at ground level. The space above was really needed for all the electro mechanical kit. Doubtless a big job to do a re wire, but well worth it when the whole site can be re developed. Personally, I suspect, after the 'Urban Village' the next one will be here.


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Andy Capp
post Jun 3 2017, 08:58 AM
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I suspect it will only become available when the lines become redundant.
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On the edge
post Jun 3 2017, 10:36 AM
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There are some interesting examples where alterations have been made, often over a time period, to significantly compress the space needed for the old node exchanges. Running fibre to street boxes is one of them; so it's not going to be too long for redundancy.


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Claude
post Jun 6 2017, 02:06 PM
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Interesting stuff, thanks for the responses.

At the end of the day, money talks. If there's enough to be made from redeveloping the site then it will only be a matter of time, but without knowing the extent of the costs for redeploying existing infrastructure then I guess we just have to wait and see. As someone said, perhaps more will happen when some of the gubbins reaches end of life.

Personally I find it a real blot on the landscape of the town I love and I'd welcome its demolition and replacement with something a bit more '21st century'.
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motormad
post Jun 9 2017, 11:30 AM
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I hope it isn't made into flats / houses... town is busy enough as it is!!!



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blackdog
post Jun 9 2017, 01:26 PM
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QUOTE (motormad @ Jun 9 2017, 12:30 PM) *
I hope it isn't made into flats / houses... town is busy enough as it is!!!

Still thousands more flats/houses to be built - which is better, turning the BT tower into flats or building on another local field? PS the answer is it doesn't matter, they'll do both anyway.
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Biker1
post Jun 11 2017, 07:36 AM
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QUOTE (Claude @ Jun 6 2017, 03:06 PM) *
without knowing the extent of the costs for redeploying existing infrastructure then I guess we just have to wait and see.

A lot, a lot!!

QUOTE (Claude @ Jun 6 2017, 03:06 PM) *
As someone said, perhaps more will happen when some of the gubbins reaches end of life.

What you may not understand, and maybe Andy earlier in his post about local lines, is that the main problem is the number of cables that run through and terminate there.
They are not just local lines Andy but major "trunk" and local area cables that link all the other exchanges together.
Smaller exchanges in our local area link into Newbury which, in turn, is linked to larger switching centres which then link to other major centres in the country. All part of the network that I am now using to send this post.
In addition to that there is also the mobile phone network and other major "trunk" cables that pass through the exchange.
The cost of moving this network to a new site (and don't forget it has to carry on working wile you do it) is astronomical.
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je suis Charlie
post Jun 11 2017, 08:58 AM
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So, let's get this right, you've got an empty building, full of cables, made out of copper, in Newbury. Hmm, fink I see a major business opportunity here. 😎


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On the edge
post Jun 11 2017, 12:44 PM
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QUOTE (je suis Charlie @ Jun 11 2017, 09:58 AM) *
So, let's get this right, you've got an empty building, full of cables, made out of copper, in Newbury. Hmm, fink I see a major business opportunity here. 😎


Absoluley! Indeed replacing the copper with shiny fibre optics and a significant decline in landline basic telephone traffic is also significantly reducing the size, but also the number of 'exchanges'. There are also now trunk route competitor lines. As a side issue, part of the reason BT fear the severing off of Openreach.


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Exhausted
post Jun 11 2017, 01:00 PM
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Just across the road is an even more lucrative site for redevelopment, the almost redundant Newbury Police Station and the court buildings.
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On the edge
post Jun 11 2017, 01:42 PM
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QUOTE (Exhausted @ Jun 11 2017, 02:00 PM) *
Just across the road is an even more lucrative site for redevelopment, the almost redundant Newbury Police Station and the court buildings.


So then, given that the Telephone Exchange, Sorting Office and Post Office are on a site owned by just one organisation and immediately across the road there was another redundant site ioccupied Police Station AND defunct Courts owned by another organisation. Then the new Hambridge Road to Sainsburys road gets built and it's triples all round.

Ever wondered why WBCs big 'vision' is really just a couple of sides of A4. All waiting for the new population expected with the new electric trains.


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je suis Charlie
post Jun 11 2017, 02:02 PM
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Just ask "what would JC do?)


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Exhausted
post Jun 11 2017, 02:31 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Jun 11 2017, 02:42 PM) *
Then the new Hambridge Road to Sainsburys road gets built and it's triples all round. Ever wondered why WBCs big 'vision' is really just a couple of sides of A4. All waiting for the new population expected with the new electric trains.


That's already approved and grants obtained. The road meanders through the now flattened Sterling Estate from and including the "road to nowhere" by the Mole outlet (the Sainsbury inner roundabout).

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On the edge
post Jun 11 2017, 02:39 PM
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QUOTE (Exhausted @ Jun 11 2017, 03:31 PM) *
That's already approved and grants obtained. The road meanders through the now flattened Sterling Estate from and including the "road to nowhere" by the Mole outlet (the Sainsbury inner roundabout).

Quite, just needs the homes built round it.


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On the edge
post Jun 11 2017, 02:41 PM
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QUOTE (je suis Charlie @ Jun 11 2017, 03:02 PM) *
Just ask "what would JC do?)


Need you ask? Make them Council houses. At least it would keep these incomers from your gates Je Suise, so there's a silver lining! tongue.gif


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