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Newlyn residents vow to fight on against broadband pole

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: January 19, 2014

Situated centre foreground is the pole which residents of Kenstella Road want removed.

Situated centre foreground is the pole which residents of Kenstella Road want removed.

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RESIDENTS in Newlyn whose spectacular views have been spoilt by the siting of a pole which will carry superfast broadband cables are to fight on despite their complaints being rebuffed by BT.

In November, people living in Kenstella Road were dismayed when an 11m pole suddenly appeared, impeding their views over the port and across the bay towards St Michael's Mount.

No prior warning had been given to residents. A notice had been fixed to the pole advising people that they had three months to make objections but the address given was wrong.

A letter, signed by more than a dozen householders, was sent to BT's chief executive protesting against the pole but to no avail.

Since then, Graeme Hughes, BT Openreach's high level complaints manager has written to Zed Sinicki, a spokesman for KRABT (Kenstella Road Against BT), saying the pole had been correctly installed and that there were no plans to relocate it.

But the Kenstella Road residents have not given up the fight and as well as continuing to make representations to local councillors, MP Andrew George and the programme manager of Superfast Cornwall, Mr Sinicki said that he believes BT have gone against a code of practice introduced by the Government regarding the siting of poles.

"The code says: 'The code operator should place a site notice ... in as close proximity as possible to the proposed apparatus indicating to nearby residents the intention to install a pole, and the proposed location'," Mr Sinicki said.

"This just hasn't happened. The first thing anyone knew about it was when the pole was installed with a complaints form bearing a wrong address.

"It just seems as though someone at BT has said, 'this is where we're going to put it – it's just tough if anyone disagrees'.

"The code also says that poles should be sited 'so as to minimise their impact on their setting, including the landscape and any buildings'.

"We get plenty of visitors here in the summer taking pictures of the view; this year that view will be spoilt."

Mr Sinicki says residents are considering taking civil action against BT and are appealing for an independent telecommunications engineer to come forward to offer advice on whether the pole could be sited elsewhere.

"BT say it is in the most appropriate position but I just don't believe that," he added.

He is also angry that the promise of a meeting between residents and Julian Cowans, programme manager for Superfast Cornwall, has not happened.

"There has been no offer to meet with the residents," he said.

If anyone believes they can help the residents of Kenstella Road, contact Mr Sinicki by e-mail at zed@sinicki.co.uk

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5 comments

  • ammolad  |  March 23 2014, 9:09AM

    Typical Not in my backyard lot at it again...trying to keep us in the Stone Age because you don't like a telegraph pole....it's hardly blocking the view is it! I want high speed broadband but I can't get it yet...if it was up to people like these lot I'd never get it....if people had always been like them we wouldn't have electricity either. They'd soon moan if they dug up miles of road to lay a cable.....putting up a pole is much cheaper and faster...it's less hassle for everyone. The pole had to go somewhere...it just happened to be placed there. We have nothing good down here and it's precisely because of people like this.

    Rate   1
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  • josdave  |  January 20 2014, 11:09AM

    NIMBYs again. It's no more unsightly than a telegraph pole and they sho0uls be glad they can get decent broadband.

    Rate   2
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  • SF_Cornwall  |  January 20 2014, 10:23AM

    Our Superfast Cornwall programme manager, Julian Cowans, has had a couple of phone concersations with Mr Sinicki, including one quite lengthy one, and at no point has did he discuss setting up a meeting with the residents group, nor has he been asked to do so.

    Rate   5
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  • expatcornish  |  January 19 2014, 11:52AM

    In this day and age these things shoud be put underground, but as usual it'll be just dne on the cheap, and look abysmal.

    Rate   -7
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  • Tavistock_SFB  |  January 19 2014, 10:58AM

    The residents should think themselves lucky they are getting superfast and not only that, BT and the Taxpayer are bending over backwards to provide it for them. No doubt those houses were totally blocking someone else's view when they were built. That pole isn't, poles are part of the infrastructure of network supply in Devon (not fibre) and Cornwall. This is so minimal.

    Rate   13
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