BT wouldn’t put in FTTC as it wasn’t commercially viable, Virgin couldn’t install as the council wouldn’t let them.
Very unlikely that the local highway and/or planning authority refused
Virgin Media expanding their network to your area. This is (in at least the last 5 or 6 years) simply not true and possibly what Virgin Media said to place the blame elsewhere than on them for not wanting to rollout the network.
Telecoms companies can expand there networks using what is known as 'code powers' (Electronic Communications Code - https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-interne...
) that allows them to place apparatus within the public highway without requiring planning permission (as such it's permitted development) in most cases. The only places likely to require
actual planning permission for apparatus such as cabinets or posts etc. are conservation areas or similar protected statuses. Elsewhere, the public highway is fair game and equipment can be placed upon it without seeking explicit permission. The local highway authority will likely receive details of proposed cabinets etc. to look over from a safety perspective (i.e. they are not being placed on a junction blocking vehicle sight lines etc.) and to assist with co-ordination of civil works (street works) but that is generally as far as it goes.
In short, it's likely that Virgin Media were of the same opinion as Openreach at the time of your contact and it was not commercially viable.
Virgin Media have obviously been expanding under the project lighting banner in various places across England and have recently (still are) working in Thanet in Kent. Various people have complained that they don't want Virgin Media and they shouldn't be allowed to work there but it's a private expansion of the network which Virgin Media have the right to do if they so choose.