Couple’s fury as 27ft pole installed in garden while they visited dying mum

Ian and Alison Brow, from Clackmannanshire in Scotland, said they were “horrified” to find a note attached to the pole explaining how to lodge his objection – after it had already gone up

Ian Brown in his home in Clackmannanshire

A couple have been left furious after they say a 27ft telegraph pole was simple plonked in their front lawn.

Ian Brown was out with wife Alison visiting her dying mum when the pole went up with the pair returning home to find it just feet from their living room window.

Mr Brown, who spends his working days helping people with their internet problems, as a digital inclusion worker was gobsmacked there was no warning.

The 61-year-old from Alva, Clackmannanshire, Scotland, said he was “horrified” to find a note attached to the pole explaining how to lodge his objection – after it had already gone up.

He told the Daily Record : “We left late morning and there was nothing there and when we got back at tea time there was this telegraph pole, just plonked there in front of my living room window.

“We knew nothing about it. I was horrified. It’s my garden.

“I’ve checked the title deeds and it’s definitely my land.

They were shocked to find a note on the pole

The pole is almost 30ft tall

“So, just in case they come back, I’ve written my own notice telling them not to attach any wires because it will have to come down again.”

He added: “I’m quite angry about it.

“My mother-in-law was terminally ill in hospital and my wife had enough on her plate without this.”

Mr Brown wrote to Openreach, which has erected the pole as part of the telecom firm’s plans for an “ultra fast broadband network”, but claimed he is still waiting for a response eight weeks later.

He added: “I’m not against progress but it makes no sense where they’ve put it. Apart from it being on my land, it’s like it’s just dropped from the sky.

“It might look, from the street, a nice wee square of grass between the houses and they thought they’ll just put it in the middle of that. But what they didn’t realise is that each part of that square belongs to each of the households.”

He said there are already two existing poles on either side of the square which carry broadband for each of the houses and he does not see the need for another.

The Browns have lived in the property for 22 years and from their front room have enjoyed picturesque views of the surrounding hills.

But Mr Brown said: “Now my view is ruined by this pole and it’s the same with the upstairs rooms.

“If they [Openreach] can do this, then what’s to stop them putting it right on your doorstep?

“It just seems to be the opinion that they can put it up where they want and then you have to fight your way out of it and if they ignore you, you’ll hopefully give up. It’s crazy.”

When the couple first moved to the property, he said Clackmannanshire Council cut the lawn, as it was close to a council owned piece of land.

But Mr Brown said a few years ago they received a letter from the authority telling them that as they owned the land they needed to maintain it.

He said: “We now pay for a gardener to look after it for us.”

He said Openreach had not even discussed a wayleave agreement – where the firm pays the landowner to have the pole on their land.

But he said: “That’s not the point, I just want it gone.”

By its own admission, Openreach states on its website: “We need to have a wayleave agreement in place to install or repair Openreach equipment on private land”.

A spokeswoman confirmed it was investigating and said the firm would liaise with Mr Brown.

She said the firm was “building a new, ultrafast broadband network” in the village and added: “Wherever we can, we use our existing duct-and-pole network to avoid digging and disruption for residents. But to reach some homes and businesses, we may need to put up new poles.

“We strive to site any new infrastructure sensitively, balanced with the need to meet local demand for broadband, TV and other internet services.”

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