Pensioners rage at ‘mean’ BT for erecting 30ft broadband mast outside bungalows

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Residents in Elms Road, Hereford, were left stunned when the giant mast was installed by the telecoms giant on January 27 in a bid to upgrade internet speeds in the area. However, the locals are demanding the pole is removed claiming it has ruined the appearance on their neighbourhood.

Brenda Cummings, 76, who moved to the street with her husband Vivian, 92, a decade ago said: “It’s a monstrosity, everyone who sees it thinks so.

“There are only 11 bungalows in the close here.

“We are all over 70, and only one of us has a computer.

“Yet we have this absolute Jack and the Beanstalk pole. It’s right in front of a couple’s window. It’s in their line of sight, it’s very mean.

“Who took the cow to market and sold it for a handful of beans?”

She went on to say how other masts in the area are smaller in comparison to this “enormous” one.

The retired civil servant continued: “It’s only a small cul-de-sac, it was lovely.

“It is very, very high. It could’ve gone 30 yards further and not looked very odd.

“We have no objection to the pole, we just wish it was in a less obvious position, that was less prominent.

“They dug this 8ft hole and they left all this muck all over the road.

“We had to go and sweep up all the mud that they left, it was left very muddy.

“I have no plans to get broadband, I can’t afford to use it.”

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She argued the residents need better lighting then they do a huge broadband mast.

Herefordshire Councillors raised concerns about broadband masts popping up around the country.

Council leader David Hitchiner said the authority was powerless to stop the poles being erected near people’s homes.

He said: “The Government is allowing hideous telegraph poles to be put up – a point I have made to the minister, who said it is more important to get the full fibre there.”

Cllr Louis Stark, Lib-Dem for Ross-on-Wye, said: “Full fibre operators do not need to seek planning permission to set up telegraph poles, which Ross-on-Wye residents are very concerned about.”

Cllr John Stone, Conservative for Leominster, added: “Last July, lots of telegraph poles appeared in Leominster almost overnight – it was like Day of the Triffids.

“There was no consultation and we faced uproar from residents.”

Residents have complained to BT Openreach, the company responsible for the pole, saying the pole should have been installed nearer to the tree line.

A spokesperson for BT Openreach said: “There are times when we simply cannot avoid erecting poles to provide services efficiently, safely and in a sound engineering manner.

“Our team letter-dropped the area in advance of the work, a pre-site notice was placed on a streetlight, and we also gave a 28-day notice for any objections to be received. None were.”

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