CITY bosses have said they cannot stop telegraph poles going up around Southampton after coming under fire from residents.

In recent months, residents across the city have been left angry when telegraph poles were erected close to where they live.

Last month, residents of Seacombe Green in Millbrook spoke out after poles were erected by telecommunications company, Openreach, just metres from homes.

This came just days after a petition was launched by residents of Thornhill to have “unnecessary” telegraph poles removed after they were installed by broadband provider, toob.

One resident of Seacombe Green, Peter Harris, 63, had previously stated that Southampton City Council is “turning a blind eye” to this.

He told the Echo: “I feel very strong that Openreach and Southampton City Council , should be made accountable for what is going on across the City.”

The resident said he was concerned that more poles will be erected across the city if this is allowed to continue by the authority, raising questions as to why already erected poles can’t be utilised instead.

Now though a Southampton City Council spokesperson has said that the authority is not able to prevent the installation of the poles as Openreach has been granted the status of a Statutory Undertaker by the Government.

The spokesperson added: “As a Statutory Undertakers, Utility Companies have the legal right to carry out works in the highway and have the right to place and maintain their apparatus on, and within, the Highway.

“As a utility company they are not required to obtain planning permission to install telegraph poles, with the exception of conservation areas.

“Seacombe Green is not within a conservation area and therefore the Council cannot prevent BT- Openreach from installing their proposed poles.”

Openreach had previously admitted that it had erected two poles in the wrong location in Seacombe Green and that it intended to fix the issue.

It is not known when these poles will be removed and residents say the company has not contacted them directly on the matter.

The council spokesperson added: “Southampton City Council does, however, encourage utility companies to look at all available options to minimise disruption and to have the least impact on the community.”