ANGRY residents opposing the installation of telegraph poles for fibre broadband in an Oswestry road say they feel let down over a lack of consultation.

The group of residents live in Llanforda Rise and says there and roads nearby – Maserfield Close, Llanforda Close, among others – are set to have the poles installed without the need for planning permission.

The work will be carried out by broadband provider Freedom Fibre, which does not require planning permission to install the poles.

Margaret Chambers, on behalf of the group, said she and her neighbours in Llanforda Rise have tried to appeal to the company to work out why it is happening.


She says this has left them angry and frustrated and added that it is the first time that overhead cables have been installed on the estate, and without consultation.

“We’re angry because it’s unnecessary and it will make the area ugly, but it’s also because it’s unnecessary,” she said.

“This is because we’ve already got underground fibre.

“There are no complaints about broadband speed either.

“Freedom Fibre did leave a flyer attached to the lamppost to say they’re doing it because they have a government contract to provide fibre broadband.

“It says that using telegraph poles is quicker and cheaper than digging underground but we don’t need it because we have it already.

“We know complaining is pointless but there is no reason for having this.

“We feel let down that this is happening and that because they have done it without needing planning permission.

“So they can do whatever they like and put things up.

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“We are so angry this is happening and we’ve asked Freedom Fibre why they are doing it but with no reply.

“Is this the way it’s going to be? That residents have no say in what goes on in their own community and neighbourhood.”

The group spoke at Oswestry Town Council’s public session last week to raise awareness but while councillors were sympathetic to their cause, the lack of required planning permission was highlighted.

A spokesman for Freedom Fibre said: “Freedom Fibre is bringing lightning-fast, full-fibre broadband to thousands of homes and businesses across north Shropshire, transforming broadband speeds and reliability for residents and businesses ahead of the copper network being retired in the next few years.

“Wherever possible, Freedom Fibre will use existing networks of telegraph poles and underground ducts to build our full-fibre network.

"Where that infrastructure is unavailable to us, Freedom Fibre will instead install new telegraph poles. Installing telegraph poles for full-fibre broadband instead of digging up pavements and roads to lay cable is quicker, more affordable, less-disruptive and – most importantly – considerably better for the environment.

“While there is no legal obligation to do so, Freedom Fibre is committed to engaging with communities to seek views and amend plans wherever possible.

"On this occasion, our community engagement processes were not followed as desired and other than additional surveying, we will pause all activity in the Llanforda Rise area until we have properly consulted local residents and elected representatives.”