‘Telegraph poles ruin our beautiful country lane’
A villager was outraged to find a ‘beautiful country lane’ in Shimpling which a residents group was trying to protect had been “ruined” by new telegraph poles.
“Imagine one of your favourite scenes and you come home to this,” said Colin Johnston, describing Gents Lane in Shimpling where he lives.
Mr Johnston said the lane is one of the village’s most treasured features, a picture postcard country scene.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” added Mr Johnston. “I was simply in shock that our beautiful lane could be vandalised in this way. There was no notification that this was going to happen, no consultation.”
Mr Johnston arrived home from work on Friday, January 22, to find the lane he is so concerned about “vandalised” with four large BT poles.
“I was really shocked as BT seems to act without any planning restrictions. But the effect is to trash the lane even before the wires go up.”
The 64-year-old assistant headteacher contacted Babergh District Council but was told BT were legally entitled to put up the poles.
He said that despite there being no legal issues it was “morally wrong” and asked why the wires could not have been buried in such a beautiful spot.
Residents in Gents Lane are already concerned about possible development taking place at either end of the road which they feel would mean unsuitable levels of traffic using the narrow lane, which has a poor surface.
There is such concern that the Gents Lane Preservation Group has been set up as residents feel the developments would have a negative effect on the look on the lane.
“It beggars belief. On top of everything else it just feels that we have no power at all in this beautiful area in which we live,” said Mr Johnston who is the group’s secretary.
He said the two developments would be the village’s biggest development proposals in the last 15 years, believing they would change the whole character of the village.
“We want to inform residents about what is happening in their village and have a voice when decisions are made.
“It is hard enough trying to oppose two developers with vastly superior resources to ourselves, without having a behemoth like BT imposing such inappropriate structures on this quaint and valued area.”