Newlyn residents vow to fight on against broadband pole
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 email@example.com