Collecting signatures PE1954: End the installation of new telegraph poles for broadband provision
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to amend the current Permitted Development rights for digital communications infrastructure to:
encourage the use of underground ducting for new broadband service installations and avoid the installation of unsightly telegraph poles and overhead cables;
ensure local communities are made aware of plans to install digital communications infrastructure in their area, and given an opportunity to share their views prior to any installation work taking place; and
ensure that all digital infrastructure, including underground ducting, is routinely maintained by the developer.
Previous action taken
Our local communities have raised objections with local Councillor Paul Ferretti, and our local MP, Stuart McDonald. They have raised concerns with Openreach on our behalf.
We have also contacted Rona McKay MSP, who is well aware of the concerns raised with Openreach.
The Community Council corresponded with Openreach, who were invited and attended a community council meeting, but we felt that our objections were dismissed.
In 2021, Openreach installed hundreds of telegraph poles in our communities in Lennoxtown and Milton of Campsie.
Our understanding is that Openreach had assessed and planned the cheapest option to install the infrastructure needed to provide Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband for hard to reach areas. No consultation had occurred between Openreach and local communities.
Our communities pressed forward with Openreach’s objection process, which was kindly attached to each and every Telegraph Pole, only to receive what we felt were unhelpful and dismissive responses from Openreach.
All the telegraph poles have been coated with a wood preservative, which smells very strongly of a paraffin-like substance. Each time it rains, this oily substance runs onto the area surrounding the telegraph pole. We fear that it could make its way into the watercourse via absorption into the soil, the local burns and the River Glazert. This risks adversely affecting local communities, microorganisms, wildlife and our pets.
What happens next?