A FUMING gran claims £30,000 has been wiped off the value of her house after BT built a “monstrous” 30ft pole outside her front door.
Linda Calvey was “devastated” when workmen began tearing up the pavement outside her picturesque £480,000 home.Linda Calvey claims the giant pole was erected without warning[/caption] Linda said the pole has left her ‘depressed’[/caption]
She claims she wasn’t warned the eyesore would be erected outside her house in Duston, Northants, last month.
The 30ft tall wooden pole was put in place at the end of her driveway – which she says looks like medieval gallows or a stake outside her front door.
She also compared it to a giant totem pole.
She said the pole has left her feeling “devastated, crushed and depressed.”
English tutor Linda, who has lived in the 1950s three-bedroomed detached house for almost 30 years, now believes her property has been devalued by around £30,000.
She also says her attempts to resolve the situation has left her stuck in a system of “Kafkaesque bureaucracy”.
The pole was erected by telecoms giant BT on January 20 as they worked on upgrading internet speeds in the area.
Mum-of-one Linda said: “It’s just horrific, we can’t believe it. I’ve noticed people walking past looking up in horror.”
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She added: “We’ve always had a reputation for having the prettiest house in the area but now I feel embarrassed.
“Moving it to the other side of the drive would at least have assuaged the brutal effect.
“How can this company ride roughshod over the aesthetics of a house and the feelings of those who have a monstrous structure thrust upon the daily interaction they have with their home?
“The sense that we, as individuals and taxpayers, have no rights whatsoever is overwhelming.
The gran worries the eyesore might put buyers off, as she plans to downsize “eventually”.
BT Openreach had placed a small letter of notice half-a-mile away from Linda’s house – a sign she never saw due to knee problems which mean she can’t walk too far.
Linda has slammed BT for not personally giving her any notice of the pole which has left the view from her house “cut in two”.
Linda, who moved into her home with husband Michael, 65, in 1996, said: “The first we knew of it was when he woke up to a racket outside our home.
“I rushed out to question them and they said it was a permitted development.
“Prior to this, there had been a notice put up half-a-mile down the road but we never go down there; we couldn’t have seen it, so we couldn’t object.
“There was no pre-warning, no letter to us, nothing. 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.”
After emails to BT, her local MP, Northamptonshire County Council and a BT Pole Objection Team in Liverpool, Linda claims she has been “totally overlooked”.
The grandmother-of-two added: “I immediately got hold of a team based in Liverpool called the Pole Objection Team and told them.
“I retrospectively wrote them a complaint but heard nothing from them.
“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: “We’re building a new, full fibre network to give residents access to gigabit capable broadband.
“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.”
The spokesperson added that in order to include some properties in the upgrade, they “may need to put up new poles”.
They added that the company “strive to select and site our infrastructure sensitively” and that it needs to balance “with the need to meet local broadband demand”.
The statement adds: “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.”The gran is worried the pole could put potential buyers off[/caption]
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