Devon community team removes eyesore telegraph poles in AONB AND upgrades to superfast broadband

A community in Mortehoe in North Devon has pulled together to upgrade its broadband connection and improve its environment by removing telegraph poles.

The project has taken 3 years to complete and brought together BT Openreach and National Grid which both moved their cables underground.  New low level dark skies compliant lighting has also been installed in the area.

Locals Allan Green and Stuart Thornborough were key to brining the project to fruition but says it was more difficult than it first appeared: 

“It was not easy and we were faced with lots of challenges, but it’s going to be well worth the effort when we see the removal of 30+ poles, over 650m of overhead power cables and thousands of metres of copper telecom cables, and when super-fast broadband (FTTP) is installed to 242 properties - benefitting both residents and business owners no end. New dark-sky-friendly street lights are being installed on Chapel Hill and all this work is going to make a dramatic improvement to this beautiful coastal area, and with everyone coming together we’ve minimised disruption and road closures as best we can.”

Mr Green contacted his local MP Selaine Saxby to help bring the key players to the table.  She says she was delighted to help:

“Having worked with Openreach previously where they helped get schools in North Devon connected during the pandemic and also undertook a very complicated project I pressed for in Lynton and Lynmouth, I am sure of one thing, Openreach like a challenge and the engineers on the ground love getting out to the glorious North Devon countryside and coast. This was not an easy project and credit goes to Allan and Stuart who have driven this from the start, but this project also shows that when you have the right people in the room and talking, you really can get things done.”

Allan Green & Stuart Thornborough added:

“It’s been a great team effort, and we would like to thank A&B Contractors Ltd, National Grid, Openreach & DCC Street lights for working all together helping and supporting each other to make this project happen. The huge support from all the residents and property owners has been amazing and we couldn’t have done this without them all supporting the project. Thanks also go to Mortehoe Parish Council & Devon County Council for their support.”

They went on to say:

“We want to thank everyone involved who helped make this happen. The project just kept getting bigger and more complicated, but we hope that other communities will use what we have done in Mortehoe as a blueprint as to what can be done if you work together and get the right people in the room talking.”

Find out more about the National Grid’s Protected Landscape project here.


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