Pensioners outraged as Virgin Media ruin view with huge boxes

Council chiefs have said the company don't need planning permission

Updated: 

Pensioners outraged after Virgin Media place huge boxes outside home

A group of outraged pensioners have been left furious by the installation of three giant broadband boxes, which they claim is stopping light from coming into the house.

Pensioner couple Donald, 88, and Rosemary Ferguson, 82 and their neighbour Betty McGrath, 83, were outraged to find themselves looking out at three giant grey boxes.

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The trio have been battling with Virgin Media for nine months, after the boxes were installed on their street in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, in January.

Rosemary, who has lived at the address for the last seven years, said that they were never told that the boxes would be placed directly out their home.

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This is now the view from Rosemary and Donald's living room

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The trio, aged 88, 82 and 83, have been battling with Virgin Media for nine months

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The boxes are an eyesore according to the pensioners

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She said: "This has really affected our homes.

"It completely blocks out any light from coming into the house, and we now have no outlook at all.

"We were never advised they were going to be put here, but apparently, that's because they don't need planning permission to put them up.

"We have been fighting this since January and have just hit a brick wall the whole way."

Exasperated with Virgin Media, the pensioners contacted local councillor Danny Devlin in a bid to resolve the issue.

The independent councillor is demanding the boxes be removed and relocated to a more suitable place.

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They say that the boxes stop the light from coming into the room

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Rosemary and Donald say the boxes should be removed straight away

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He claimed: "Virgin Media are a law unto themselves.

"They don't need planning permission but they would usually speak to the council about the installation of these boxes. However, in this case, they didn't.

"The people living there have no outlook whatsoever - it's completely blocked the view from their window.

"The boxes should be removed and Virgin should be made to go through the planning process with the council.

"They have just refused to speak to anyone about the issue. As far as they are concerned it's a done deal.

Virgin says the council was notified about the installation

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Planning permission is not required for the boxes, the council said

"As a gesture of common sense, I would expect Virgin to take the boxes down and give these pensioners back the view they had before."

Virgin explained the installation is part of their ongoing expansion in Barrhead.

A spokeswoman said: "Virgin Media is currently expanding its network in the area to bring ultrafast broadband speeds to more homes and businesses.

"As we do so, we endeavour to minimise disruption and we apologise for any inconvenience to residents.

"In the case of the cabinets in Lowndes Court, the council was notified prior to Virgin Media installing the cabinets and the correct procedures were followed."

Council chiefs said communication companies including Virgin Media do not require planning permission to install the boxes.

A spokesman said: "Infrastructure providers, including broadband providers, have certain permitted development rights for boxes and installations.

"Planning permission is not required for these boxes, although we would expect them to placed in suitable locations which have minimal impact on residents."

Neighbours from hell

Neighbours from hell


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