Telecoms giant BT has been accused of spoiling a view of an ancient Hebden Bridge landmark by plonking a telephone pole just feet away.
Now campaigners want infrastructure division BT Openreach to remove the pole from land near the 500-year-old Packhorse Bridge.
They say BT has been “totally insensitive” to the site surrounding the Grade II listed bridge. Campaigners, including members of Calder Civic Trust, say the pole’s position spoils the vista of the bridge and that this is a case of a corporate giant ignoring the fact that this is the centre of a conservation area.
But a BT spokesperson said: “The pole in question was erected after building demolition nearby caused loss of telephone service for a local business.
“The pole was erected to get service to that business restored after they had been without for a significant time.
“A retrospective GDO (General Development Order) will be applied for via the local council/highways authority. However we are investigating alternative cable routes which may remove the need for the telegraph pole.
“I must stress that at this stage we do not know if an alternative route which will provide service to nearby properties is viable.”
Calderdale Council’s head of planning and highways, Geoff Willerton, said: “Although BT are not required to submit planning applications for telegraph poles in the first instance, they should have applied to us for a determination as to whether our prior approval was required for the siting and appearance of the pole. Unfortunately we were not made aware in advance of the intention to install the pole.
“An enforcement officer has visited the site and liaised with BT. We have now established that the pole was needed following the demolition of nearby buildings and was installed to reinstate service at short notice. Having regard to all the circumstances, we have concluded it is not appropriate to take further action in this instance.”