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‘They have stirred up a hornet’s nest’: Homeowners’ fury as workers cement in ‘eyesore’ broadband poles outside windows of their dream £450,000 newbuild houses


Furious homeowners have revealed how telecoms workers are trying to cement in ‘eyesore’ broadband poles right outside their windows.

The £450,000 newbuild houses in Wakefield, West Yorkshire – which feature stunning balconies – were blighted with the 30ft masts 18 months ago.

Now the owners of the modern properties have been left horrified after workmen turned up unannounced this morning and started digging up the pavement to lock in the poles.

Locals fear that if the resurfacing work is completed they will be stuck with the giant pillars for good.

Has your new home been blighted by an eyesore? Get in touch lettice.bromovsky@mailonline.co.uk 

Residents (pictured) of Thornesgate Drive in Wakefield are locked in a battle with local developers over ill placed telegraph poles

Residents (pictured) of Thornesgate Drive in Wakefield are locked in a battle with local developers over ill placed telegraph poles

Thornesgate drive in Wakefield where the 30ft masts were put up 18 months ago

Thornesgate drive in Wakefield where the 30ft masts were put up 18 months ago

Workmen turned up unannounced and started digging up the pavement to lock in the poles permanently

Workmen turned up unannounced and started digging up the pavement to lock in the poles permanently 

One mast was installed outside the bedroom window of a local businesswoman whose pleas for the poles to be put up further along the pavement have been ignored.

Start up manager Shabana Yousaf, whose bedroom window view has been ruined by a mast, was coming back from the gym when she saw the crews using a heavy duty machine.

They had already planed the section across her and her neighbour’s drive when she parked across the pavement at the entrance to her drive to halt the work.

‘The stress they have caused me is ridiculous. They did not give any notice they were coming today. They were trying to do it on the hush hush,’ she told MailOnline.

‘We want answers why they did not give notice. The poles stank of creosote when they were first put in as well. All the residents are unhappy.’

Her partner Sean McIntyre, a plumber turned lecturer, also refused to remove his car parked by the kerbside.

James Waplington a pet company owner who has lived on the street five years, found one of the poles blocking his premature baby son's bedroom window

James Waplington a pet company owner who has lived on the street five years, found one of the poles blocking his premature baby son’s bedroom window

The £450,000 newbuild houses in Wakefield, West Yorkshire - which feature stunning balconies - were blighted with the 30ft masts 18 months ago

The £450,000 newbuild houses in Wakefield, West Yorkshire – which feature stunning balconies – were blighted with the 30ft masts 18 months ago

Resident confronting the workers after they began their work without any warning.

Resident confronting the workers after they began their work without any warning.

The crews were forced to abandon the work but returned later in the day when one workman accused a photographer of trying to take his picture.

Ms Yousaf then called the police and remained sitting in a fold up chair on the pavement until the workmen gave up and left again.

The police did not attend but the incident was logged. Ms Yousaf, who has lived in the house for three years, stormed: ‘The pole was moved 18 months ago and is now in the centre of my window.

‘When I rang Open Reach and the Council they said the developer was responsible because the council have not adopted the road. Look at the mess they have left.’

Residents are infuriated because when they bought the new homes they said they were told all the broadband cables would be buried underground, not overhead.

Ms Yousaf added: ‘Can you imagine buying a lovely house and then this happens. Now they have sold everyone’s houses and got everyone’s money they are not bothered.

‘I parked on my drive but my car was hanging over the pavement. If I let them do the resurfacing I have to live with this pole and I don’t see why they cannot just move it.’

James Waplington, 39, a pet company owner who has lived on the street for five years, found one of the poles blocking his premature baby son’s bedroom window.

He said: ‘When we bought the houses, which are quite expensive, we were told all the cables were going underground.

‘Then they turned up 18 months ago and put these poles up including one which was originally outside my premature baby’s bedroom window. They made a right racket putting it up too.

‘When they turned up to do the pavements today I told them I was going into a meeting I had spent months preparing for.

‘They said they would make as much noise as they needed to.’

Start up manager Shabana Yousaf, whose bedroom window view has been ruined by a mast

Start up manager Shabana Yousaf, whose bedroom window view has been ruined by a mast

Ms Yousaf called the police and remained sitting in a fold up chair on the pavement until the workmen gave up and left, she also parked her car across the pavement at the entrance to her drive to halt the work

Ms Yousaf called the police and remained sitting in a fold up chair on the pavement until the workmen gave up and left, she also parked her car across the pavement at the entrance to her drive to halt the work

It is understood that the builders have saved £30,000 by bringing the remainder of the broadband in overhead cables, instead of putting them underground

It is understood that the builders have saved £30,000 by bringing the remainder of the broadband in overhead cables, instead of putting them underground

The crews were forced to abandon the work but returned later in the day when one workman accused a photographer of trying to take his picture

The crews were forced to abandon the work but returned later in the day when one workman accused a photographer of trying to take his picture

Another resident Richard Thompson, who also moved in three years ago, said: ‘My wife was on a conference call to the chief executive of the company she works for when they started digging up the drive without even knocking on the door.

‘I had to move the wife’s car back. No one communicated with us. Now they have stirred up a hornet’s nest.’

Nodding in agreement, neighbour Gary Sergeant wrote to local MP and Shadow Transport Minister Simon Lightwood and was referred to the Housing Ombudsman.

He said: ‘All you can see from the balconies is these silly wires and poles. Everyone was under the impression they were going to be buried.’

The residents have asked to see the original plans for the development showing the cables were supposed to go underground. They said the developers have so far failed to do so.

They understand that the builders have saved £30,000 by bringing the remainder of the broadband in overhead cables.

In an email to residents, Tony Watling, Managing Director of the developer Bridge Homes, said: ‘Unfortunately, the contractor did not advise us in advance that they were attending site to carry out the road remedials and footpath repairs.

‘They had a cancellation of another job, so took the opportunity to attend site. I sincerely apologise customers were not notified in advance.

‘However, the works that are required in Thornesgate Drive, are entirely on our land, in the footpaths to be adopted by the Local Highways Authority.

‘They would have created only a minor disturbance for a short period, all works completed during the course of today.

‘Obviously, the intentional obstruction of the footpath by your vehicles, prevents the remedial works on our land, and as a result will further frustrate the adoption process, which is to the benefit of all 96 residents on the development.

‘The purpose of this action is to coerce Bridge Homes to relocate the telegraph pole you are unhappy about.

‘Previous correspondence in late 2022 has covered this point, and, at your request, we made a compromise offer to share the cost to relocate the pole, which you subsequently declined.

‘We will continue to try to strive to complete these necessary works so that the adoption process on the development can be completed.

‘The issues preventing our doing so, will be brought to the attention of the Highway Authority.’

MailOnline has contacted Open Reach and Bridge Homes for comment.



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