A pensioner named Ellen Ballantyne has been informed that it will cost her £1,000 to relocate a mast wire in her garden. Ellen, who is 67 years old, wants to lay decking and create an outdoor seating area at her home. However, before she can proceed with these plans, the wire holding the mast steady needs to be moved. Openreach, the broadband provider, has stated that Ellen will have to pay £1,000 for the wire to be rearranged, as a survey needs to be conducted first. The mast and stay wire have been present in Ellen’s garden for over 20 years.
Ellen has set aside some money to transform her outdoor space into a peaceful area, but she is frustrated that she is being forced to cover the cost. She believes that Openreach should be responsible for the expense since they initially installed the wire. Ellen stated, “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.”
Ellen, who grew up on the property and cared for her parents there in their later years, moved away for a few years but returned to the house in 2010. She volunteers at a charity shop in Greenock and has cleared away trees and greenery to make room for the decking. Ellen admitted that she had never been bothered by the mast and stay wire in the garden and had accepted their presence. However, she now realizes that the wire’s position will make it challenging to install the decking.
Openreach has explained that the costs for the survey are estimated and depend on the duration of the surveying activity and associated administrative work. A spokesperson for Openreach stated, “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. 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 emphasized that survey costs are an indicative average cost.
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