I'm furious after workmen dug up my driveway WITHOUT my permission – it's left £10k damage and no one will fix it
A FARMER was horrified to discover workmen digging up his driveway to fit new internet cables without his permission.
Chris Partington claims contractors from broadband provider Gigaclear caused £10,000 worth of damage by destroying the tarmac and smashing his mains water pipe.
The 69-year-old said the builders rocked up while he was out and began drilling into the pathway that leads to his home in Leominster, Herefordshire.
When he returned, he says he was told they were fitting fibre optic cables and the "disruption" to his property was essential.
But the willow farmer claims he wasn't consulted and never gave permission for them to be on his land.
And he was furious by the "extraordinary" mess and destruction the workers left behind when they were done – which he estimates will cost £10,000 to put right.
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Chris, who also makes a living selling books on eBay, said: "Gigaclear completely destroyed the tarmac, smashed an important drainage pipe and left the driveway all lumpy and almost inaccessible.
"They even dug up my mains water tap box and left it abandoned.
"It's £10,000 worth of damage. It's extraordinary.
"They were fitting some internet fibre optic cable but I was not consulted, nor are they paying wayleaves to be on my property. No one asked my permission."
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Chris said the men first visited in February 2019 and he immediately complained to the council.
But three years later and nothing has be done – and the problems are only getting worse.
He alleges that because of the damage to the water system, his road floods every time it rains, leaving it "a mess".
"The entrance way is not flat and water comes out of the ground where the broken pipe is," he said.
"Water now just floods out over the road. This issue has been going on for years.
"It's like a bloody river when it rains, the road is a mess.
"It is also very uneven with stones regularly moving onto the road which I regularly have to remove."
It's like a bloody river when it rains, the road is a mess.
Chris added: "I knew the fibre optic cable was coming to the area, but I thought they were digging up the road and putting it there.
"I did not know they were taking the cheaper option of putting it in the verge.
"They've gone across quite a few people's driveways in the area, but mine is the worst."
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A Gigaclear spokesperson said: "We understand that Mr Partington shared concerns about his property with the local council, but we have no record of receiving a complaint ourselves in 2019 or at any other time.
"We do take such concerns seriously, however, initial investigations, including a site visit, suggest we did not undertake any excavations across Mr Partington’s driveway entrance.
"Nevertheless, we shall continue to look into the matter.
"Gigaclear has been working hard to bring ultrafast full-fibre broadband to homes and businesses in Leominster, to enable the community to benefit from fast, reliable broadband speeds.
"Delivering and installing this infrastructure is an enormous undertaking, and we work closely with the local authorities to make sure the appropriate reinstatement is carried out once the fibre optic cable has been laid."
A spokesperson for the Fastershire Broadband Project, a partnership between Herefordshire Council and Gloucestershire County Council to bring faster internet to homes and businesses, said: "Fastershire takes complaints about property damage very seriously.
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"We have not been able to find any correspondence between Mr Partington and Fastershire concerning Gigagclear installing fibre optic cables.
"We welcome Mr Partington contacting us with any additional information that helps us look into this matter."
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