Contractors have started installing ‘ridiculous’ and unwanted telegraph poles on streets across Stourport as residents continue their protest against the work.

The Stourport Action Group Against The Poles is fighting back against plans from Fibre Heroes to install 35-foot-high telegraph masts across several areas of the town including Ash Grove and the Hartlebury Park Estate.

Residents support having better broadband, but they believe the poles are unattractive, damaging to birds and less effective than the underground cables they want instead.

On Monday, December 11, workers arrived to install another telegraph pole on Stagborough Way on the Lickhill Lodge Estate and within an hour of the work starting the mast had been put up. 

The group said Openreach and Virgin are also working in the area, but are proposing to install high-speed fibre broadband using underground cables where feasible. 

Co-founder of the Stourport Action Group Against The Poles, Glenda Brown, aged 75, said: “This is yet another pole we don’t need. The whole process makes a total mockery of local democracy.

“It now turns out they can change their minds on the day and put them anywhere within a ‘reasonable distance’ of where they told people back in August they planned to put them.”

Kidderminster Shuttle: The hole made for a pole but later refilled on Ferndale Close The hole made for a pole but later refilled on Ferndale Close (Image: Clive Wood)

On the same morning, a separate group fibre broadband installers arrived on the Hartlebury Park estate and began installation work on the poles, which residents have been told are important in bringing a 21st century network to the UK.

The workers dug a hole in the pavement on Ferndale Close but filled it in again when they discovered they were too close to a retaining wall and underground ducts.

Ms Brown added: “It is getting totally ridiculous. We have called on Fibre Heroes to pause its work whilst Openreach completes its work underground.

“Fibre Heroes could use that Openreach underground ducting and we could avoid having poles and wires strewn across our beautiful town. They have so far refused.”

Despite residents having more than 1,200 signatures on their petition, Fibre Heroes are continuing to install the telegraph poles after work started on December 7.

A spokesperson for the company said it does not believe Openreach will be taking a different approach to them in future, and it is using existing underground ducts where feasible.

Fibre Heroes added: “It’s really important to us that we listen to the communities we build in, and the residents have the opportunity to adapt the designs where engineering standards allow.

“We’re aware this upgrade can bring a level of disruption and change; however, we hope residents can understand the importance of this vital upgrade and recognise the very positive impact that this new infrastructure will have on their lives now and in the future.”