Petition launched against plans for broadband telegraph poles in Shirley - The Solihull Observer

Petition launched against plans for broadband telegraph poles in Shirley

Solihull Editorial 11th Apr, 2024   0

A PETITION has been launched against plans to install 30ft telegraph poles around the Solihull Lodge and Shirley area.

The residents of Nethercote Gardens and Councillor Maggie Allen, for Shirley West, have joined forces calling for the plans to be scrapped and calling on the company not to ‘inflict these eyesores upon our green and pleasant estate’.

The proposed installation by braodband provider BRSK would see new telecom poles with overhead cables in multiple locations across the area.

So far the petition has garnered almost 100 signatures.

The residents and Coun Allen are set to meet with BRSK tonight (Thursday) to discuss the plans and and concerns residents have.

Campaigner Lucy Clark said: “Our area is currently served broadband by Virgin and Open Reach underground.

“This service is great, we have enough options and the BRSK offering is inferior and also will involve multiple telegraph poles and thick black cables running in the air throughout picturesque residential areas, between houses.

“The Government require them to consult fully with residents, which they have only done following our lobbying. Prior to this and as seen locally, the consultation was to put notices on lampposts.

“A few local roads have sent petitions and had the works halted. We think this approach to meet with residents is essentially them ticking the box to say they have consulted.

“We do not anticipate this will change their plans and is merely a formality on their part to then go ahead.”

The poles are being installed as part of a government initiative to roll out broadband across the UK using poles to deliver the service to homeowners and business premises.

However, a government directive was issued recently instructing them to use existing underground infrastructure where possible and to use telegraph poles as a last resort.

Coun Allen said: “It became apparent that other roads in Shirley West were being targeted and residents were, understandably, very angry that this had been the first they had heard about BRSK’s plans.

“I was annoyed about what seemed to be a fete accompli and a telephone conversation with BRSK community engagement build manager resulted in the meeting with residents in Nethercote Gardens.”

A BRSK spokesperson said: “This meeting came as a result of the BRSK team engaging with the local council, who suggested this as an opportunity for residents to raise any concerns and for the team to educate on the upcoming roll out of full fibre broadband to the area.

“This is intended as an introduction to brsk, an information session to clear up any concerns and misunderstandings, and to move forward positively.”


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