A PENSIONER has been hit with a £1,000 bill to have a telecom company’s mast wires moved in her garden.
Ellen Ballantyne, 67, wants to lay decking and have an outdoor seating area at her home.
Ellen Ballantyne has been hit with a £1,000 bill to have a telecom company’s mast wires moved in her gardenCredit: SWNS
A mast and ‘stay wire’ have been prominent ‘features’ in Ellen’s garden for more than 20 yearsCredit: SWNS
But broadband provider Openreach say she’ll have to stump up to get it the way she wants.
A mast and ‘stay wire’ have been prominent ‘features’ in resident Ellen’s garden for more than 20 years.
She now has some money set aside to transform her outside space into a tranquil spot at the home in Greenock, Scotland.
But before the seating area can be installed the wire which holds the mast steady will have to be moved.
Openreach has advised Ellen that a survey will have to be undertaken before the position of the wire is changed.
They say the cost of the survey – which could reach £1,000 – must be covered by Ellen.
She said: “I don’t understand why it’s me who has to pay when it’s them who put it here in the first place.
“I’m trying to improve the property for the future and make the outside look better.
”They should be paying me to have this in my garden.
“All I’m asking for is for the wire to be moved a bit closer to the fence so there’s more space for the decking.”
Retired Ellen grew up in the property and cared for her parents there in later life. She moved away for a few years but came back to the house in 2010.
Ellen, who volunteers at a charity shop in Greenock, has cleared away trees and greenery to allow for the decking to be installed.
She says she has ‘never bothered’ about the mast and stay wire in the garden and just came to terms with them being there.
Ellen said: “The mast has been there for a long time and I understand that it needs to be there.
“I’ve never really thought about it until now. The position of the wire is going to make it really difficult to install the decking.”
Openreach said that ‘survey costs are estimated’ and ‘based upon how long it takes to complete the surveying activity and all associated administration work’.
A spokesperson said: “If we’re asked to undertake work on behalf of a householder, Openreach is entitled to seek reimbursement for the cost of the work and any associated surveys.
“The cost of a survey depends on things like the type and complexity of infrastructure involved; the time it takes, including travel; and site safety, so we do want to make sure householders are aware of possible charges before any work goes ahead.
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“We’re continuing to look into this case, with the pole due for a regular maintenance test this winter, and will continue to discuss it directly with the customer.”
The spokesperson stressed that survey costs are an ‘indicative average cost’.