UNWANTED telegraph poles installed 'without consultation' are blighting a leafy street in a Bromsgrove village, say irritated locals.

Councillor Peter McDonald has taken up the case of residents in Ashmead Rise, Cofton Hackett, who are unhappy about the poles springing up.

However, BT, who have installed the poles, say that notices warning of the work were put up nearby and that the poles are vital to bring full-fibre broadband internet connection to the area.

Cllr McDonald, who represents the Rubery North ward on Bromsgrove District Council, believes underground cables would have been a better solution.

He said: "Residents had a shock when the poles were being installed as they had no knowledge this was going to happen.

"The unwanted installation has impaired the visual amenity of some residents.

"Unfortunately, the Government has now made it easier for companies like BT to no longer have to lay cables underground.

"This is clearly a step backward, for it may be quicker and easier to install the networks required for faster internet, but it is really all about cost and nothing else.

"It clearly is cheaper to install poles than lay cables underground and ignore its consequences.

"BT is one of the wealthiest companies in Europe, who could well afford to lay cables underground and not blight local neighbourhoods.

"Unfortunately, they ignore the social consequences of their actions. I have asked BT to remove the poles and respect the local neighbourhood.”

A spokesperson for Openreach, a division of BT, said: “We are currently making some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK available to thousands of homes and businesses across the West Midlands, including here in Worcestershire.

“Our engineers do their best to carry out their work with great care. We want to create as little disruption as possible to local life and as much as we can, we’re using our existing infrastructure.

“However – as is the case here - sometimes the only viable option to make full fibre available is to install new equipment.

“We hear the concerns raised by local residents but hope they understand our position and the benefits that full fibre will bring.

"It’s not only faster, but more reliable and future-proof for many years to come.”