Landowner battles transformer on his property

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

A Shurlock Row resident claims he is being ‘fobbed off’ by SSE about maintenance work and payments for use of his property.

Robin Crockford lives in The Straight Mile, on a property that houses a transformer and power line belonging to the power company.

Mr Crockford says he has been trying to reach the company regarding his wayleave payments – a fee to use private land, paid by the business to the landowner – for four years.

According to Mr Crockford, the company has ceased the payments, with the intention of moving the transformer off his property and into a substation in Shurlock Row.

As of yet, the transformer has not been moved.

“When I’ve tried contacting SSE, I’ve been fobbed off,” said Mr Crockford.

“They’ve just completely blanked me,”

He said the company told him it needed planning permission from the Royal Borough in order to run the cable across the village.

Parish clerk of the Waltham St Lawrence & Shurlock Row Parish Council, MJ Streather, said that in her three-and-a-half years as parish councillor, she has seen no such planning application.

Mr Crockford claims he has also contacting SSE for eight or nine years regarding preventative maintenance on a problematic overhanging branch that threatens to interrupt a three phase cable.

He said the company sent contractors to deal with the branches, but didn’t finish the work.

“The biggest fear is that they’re going to come across this three phase cable, in the middle of summer when they’re in full leaf,” said Mr Crockford.

“I’m tired of being passed from pillar to post. Nobody [at SSE] wants to take responsibility.”

SSE said it could not comment on the situation, because it was a ‘private matter’ that could potentially affect other landowners.

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