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Disgruntled homeowner locked in feud with power company over 'unsightly' substation

PUBLISHED: 16:40 10 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:25 11 November 2019

Scarning resident Terry Wittkopp says he was misled by UK Power Networks over the installation of a substation on Chapel Lane. Picture: Terry Wittkopp

Scarning resident Terry Wittkopp says he was misled by UK Power Networks over the installation of a substation on Chapel Lane. Picture: Terry Wittkopp

Archant

A homeowner is embroiled in a battle with a power company over its "unsightly" new substation - which he says was only supposed to be temporary.

Scarning resident Terry Wittkopp says he was misled by UK Power Networks over the installation of a substation on Chapel Lane. Picture: Terry WittkoppScarning resident Terry Wittkopp says he was misled by UK Power Networks over the installation of a substation on Chapel Lane. Picture: Terry Wittkopp

Terry Wittkopp, who lives in Scarning, argues UK Power Networks' new 'green box' on Chapel Lane has spoiled views along the quiet country road.

The substation - situated two doors away from Mr Witkopp - appeared after UK Power installed underground cabling as a replacement for potentially hazardous overhead power lines.

While the 49-year-old accepts changes were necessary, he maintains he was initially told the substation would be temporary - only to now receive confirmation it is a permanent fixture.

UK Power Networks say the previous overhead lines were seen as unsightly and potentially hazardous. Picture: Google MapsUK Power Networks say the previous overhead lines were seen as unsightly and potentially hazardous. Picture: Google Maps

"When I first saw this big green box I thought it was a worker's hut," said Mr Wittkopp, who has lived on the road for three years. "I went down there and was told it wouldn't be there for long.

"A few weeks later I called UK Power to ask how long it would be there, but they said I'd been given the wrong information and it would actually be staying there permanently."

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Mr Wittkopp says he not only feels misled, but also bewildered by where the substation has been built.

He added: "The first thing I asked was 'why haven't you built it behind the houses or to the side?' The land it's on is just wasteland.

"It could have easily gone five metres further back, but instead it's right up against my neighbour's fence and has probably devalued our properties.

Scarning resident Terry Wittkopp says he was misled by UK Power Networks over the installation of a substation on Chapel Lane. Picture: Terry WittkoppScarning resident Terry Wittkopp says he was misled by UK Power Networks over the installation of a substation on Chapel Lane. Picture: Terry Wittkopp

"This is a picturesque lane with nobody overlooking us, and to have that right outside your door is just unsightly."

A spokesman for UK Power Networks responded: "For safety reasons and more reliable power supplies, we have removed overhead lines and installed underground cabling.

"This includes the removal of larger pole-mounted electrical equipment, which has been replaced by a 'green box' substation with automated technology to resolve power interruptions much faster.

Scarning resident Terry Wittkopp says he was misled by UK Power Networks over the installation of a substation on Chapel Lane. Picture: Terry WittkoppScarning resident Terry Wittkopp says he was misled by UK Power Networks over the installation of a substation on Chapel Lane. Picture: Terry Wittkopp

"This is permitted under the Town and County Planning Act and the local planning authority was informed. This follows issues with the previous equipment being seen as unsightly and lines being a potential hazard in relation to the roof height of homes.

"We remain in contact with the customer to resolve his concerns and have arranged to meet him early next week."

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