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Sedbergh residents driven 'up the pole' by new electricity mast
ANGRY residents have hit out at a utility company ‘plonking’ an electricity mast outside their homes.
Electricity North West (ENW) has permitted development rights to install a 13-metre high telecoms radio pole at the primary substation which sits at the rear of Queens Drive, a cul-de-sac in Sedbergh.
The mast is being placed there after a plan for a 20-metre mast to the rear of the substation on Busk Lane was turned down by Yorkshire Dales National Park Authourity planners.
Shaun Gardener, 25, who lives on Queens Drive with his wife Dominique, 24, and three-year-old son Louis, said he knew nothing about the plan until he discovered a concrete plinth had been constructed directly behind his back garden.
“At first I thought they were just tidying up when I saw work men cutting down hedges. It wasn’t until I noticed the base that I began to ask questions. I was very annoyed we hadn’t been told,” he said.
“Our sitting room has a huge window so we can take advantage of the views – now we are going to be stuck with this eyesore. It is shocking.”
Neighbour Shirley Smith said the mast has caused ‘a lot of sleepless nights’ among residents.
“The whole situation is horrendous,” said Mrs Smith. “Nothing has been explained to us and we have been kept in the dark.
“National Parks surely exist to protect us from the intrusion of unnecessary masts but now we are going to have this huge blot on our landscape. It should not be allowed to happen.”
A letter from ENW was hand-delivered to addresses in the area a week after the work had started. It pointed out that the company’s primary substation sites were remotely monitored to enable engineers to react swiftly to restore supplies in the event of a fault.
“We have no alternative than to erect this pole to ensure we maintain robust remote control of this substation, in light of British Telecom’s 21st century project to replace the infra-structure,” read the letter.
A spokesperson for Electricity North West, said: "It is vital we invest in the local electricity network to ensure residents and businesses receive a reliable and efficient power supply at all times.
"The telecommunications pole within the grounds of Sedbergh primary substation will enable us to react swiftly and remotely restore electricity supplies to the 2,500 customers the substation serves in the event of a power cut.
"The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority rejected all other options, away from residents' properties. The current site is the only one that has been approved and the main construction work is now complete. We are liaising directly with local residents and we welcome any enquires on 0800 195 4141 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org."
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