Famous view 'spoiled' by telegraph poles

NEWS last week that overhead power lines in Dedham were being placed underground to improve the appearance of Constable Country has been met with hollow laughter in a nearby village.

Roddy Ashworth

NEWS last week that overhead power lines in Dedham were being placed underground to improve the appearance of Constable Country has been met with hollow laughter in a nearby village.

Because just days before EDF removed the unsightly cabling, a few miles away in neighbouring Bradfield 14 brand new telegraph poles had unexpectedly been erected, ruining an unspoilt view over the famous East Anglian countryside.

Residents of Straight Road thought nothing was amiss when it was announced the residential street, which overlooks the Dedham Vale, would be closed for BT Openreach to conduct “urgent repair work” last month.

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But they were more than surprised when they saw the tall wooden poles being hoisted into place and new overhead cabling strung along the side of the road.

Homeowner Robert Dennis said: “There was no warning or prior discussion about the erection of the new poles.

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“All the residents in our road received a note advising them of a temporary road closure order, for the purpose of 'urgent repair work'. This rang no alarm bells.

“However, on the Monday morning a squad of BT Openreach vehicles arrived and commenced installation of the poles.”

It soon emerged that the telegraph poles were being installed to improve broadband services elsewhere in the village.

“We have nothing against the idea and agree that everyone who wants access to broadband should have it.

“However, it defies logic that BT Openreach did not install the cabling underground, as there is ample verge space to accommodate the cable.

“We tried to persuade the people doing the work that it was not a good idea, but unfortunately the objection procedure works in retrospect.

“The poles get erected, then you have two months in which to raise your objections to the 'Wayleave Department' in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.”

“A letter went to them over two weeks ago and so far there has been no reply.”

Mr Dennis' wife, Margaret, said: “We already had telegraph poles down the side of the road where there are houses.

“But when we looked out of our window we could see nothing but fields and the countryside.

“Now, however, we've got these great big telegraph poles. It ruins our view.

“As soon as they started we contacted just about everyone. But Tendring District Council said BT were able to put these poles just about anywhere they like.

“It is very annoying that one company taking cables down in one place and putting them underground, but here another company is putting them up.”

A spokesman for BT said: “Whenever we need to put poles in, we take into account all factors including engineering needs and costs.

“In this case, for engineering reasons it was not possible to utilise the non-BT poles which are already in place on the other side of Straight Road.

“This means that a new route of the 14 poles have to be erected on the other side of the road.

“These poles are needed to improve broadband provision in the area.”

“All the poles are placed on the public highway and therefore Openreach are not required to give notice of location of pole installations.

“Notices are placed on new poles which outlines the appeals process open to residents to raise objections, and all comments will be considered at the end of that process.”

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