Fuming gran claims ‘monstrous’ BT broadband pole has wiped £30,000 from home’s value

A ‘monstrous’ 30ft broadband pole that ‘looks like a stake or gallows’ has been installed outside a gran’s picturesque cottage in Northamptonshire.

Linda Calvey, 63, fears the installation of the ‘eyesore’ has wiped £30,000 off the value of her £480,000 home overnight.

It was installed by BT workers just yards from her front door and now ‘splits her view in half’.

Efforts to resolve the situation have left Linda stuck in a system of ‘Kafkaesque bureaucracy’, she said.

English tutor Linda and husband Michael, 65, have lived in the three-bedroomed detached house in Duston since 1996.

They are eventually planning to sell it and downsize but fear potential buyers will be put off by the presence of the pole.

She said she first knew about the ‘monstrosity’ when she heard workmen tearing up the pavement on January 20.

BT Openreach had put up a notice informing residents of the work to upgrade internet speeds in the area but Linda said she hadn’t seen it as it was placed half-a-mile from her house and she doesn’t walk that far due to knee problems.

Linda said the company should have come to their door to let them know what was happening.

‘There was no pre-warning, no letter to us, nothing, she said. ‘Apparently, they don’t have to warn you as a household. It is common courtesy, they should have let us know.

‘I told the workers we haven’t seen the sign for the planned pole erection and they just said: “No. The pole is going up.”

‘Then last Friday morning, two BT engineers turned up and admitted, quite sheepishly, that they are doing the work.

‘It seemed they were trying to get ahead of their rivals in getting broadband here first. I got the impression that even they thought it was unacceptable.

‘We have been left devastated by this monstrosity outside our home – it was twice the size of the house.

‘It its horrible and medieval. Why can’t they use cables instead this unsightly pole?

‘It seems they just plucked a random house on the street. It has completely cut our view in half. The other poles in the street are not in such obtrusive positions.’

Linda has emailed BT, her local MP, Northamptonshire County Council and a Pole Objection Team in Liverpool but to no avail.

She said: ‘We have contacted Northamptonshire County Council and they said it was a permitted development and to contact BT. They have wiped their hands of it.

‘We even contacted our local MP’s and they said they have had many similar complaints but said it is unactable.

‘We have been totally overlooked. BT, being a big corporation, has just made me feel completely helpless as an individual.’

A spokesperson for BT Openreach said the work was part of the company’s plans to build a new, full fibre network which will give residents access to ‘gigabit capable broadband.’

They added: ‘Our full fibre build in Northamptonshire has already passed more than 70,000 local homes and businesses, who can now order some of the UK’s fastest, most reliable broadband from their chosen provider, and work continues on the ground.

‘Wherever we can, we use our existing duct-and-pole network to avoid digging and disruption.

‘But in order to include some properties in the upgrade, we may need to put up new poles.

‘We strive to select and site our infrastructure sensitively, balancing this with the need to meet local broadband demand.

‘Poles need to be in the right place to provide internet, TV and other services to properties, must avoid other underground services like gas and water pipes and drainage, and meet regulations on space left on the pavement for pedestrians, cyclists and prams.

‘We follow the same statutory process as other network providers to install telecoms infrastructure on public land. We’ve asked our teams to take a look at this.’

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