Furious residents who used their cars to stop telecoms workmen from installing 500 ugly broadband poles in their town have succeeded in halting the work.
But campaigner Julie Dervey from the group Going Underground described the suspension as ‘just a small battle that we’ve won’.
Locals have vowed to boycott any internet provider who decides to use the 30ft high wooden ‘eyesores’, insisting cables should go underground instead.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council confirmed it had temporarily suspended work in Hedon, near Hull, while it investigated ‘allegations of unsafe work activity’.
Changes to the law since April 2022 mean operators can erect poles without council planning consent. Campaigners have called for new broadband providers to use the existing infrastructure built by Hull-based KCom.
The council is meeting with MS3 Networks on Thursday, following ongoing protests against the polls – with the police being called to one incident last week.
Yorkshire locals used their cars to stop telecoms workmen from installing 500 ugly telegraph poles in their town
Humberside Police said no arrests were made and officers were ‘engaging with residents in the community following reports of access being obstructed’.
Some poles will block driveways and ruin views, protestors have claimed. They added that they are happy with the broadband they already have from local telecommunications firm KCOM.
Campaigner Ms Dervey, who has lived in Hedon for forty years, said: ‘Until this legislation loophole is closed, where they don’t have to apply for any kind of planning permission, they can’t be made to share infrastructure with other companies if it’s pre-existing.
‘Until that’s all sorted, then they’re going to carry on.’
The council said: ‘In response to the feedback from the local community, the council has decided to suspend the ongoing works of MS3 for their project in the area.
‘The works of MS3 will resume only after the council is satisfied necessary adjustments have been implemented.’
Next week, Ms Dervey and other campaigners will be accompanying local Conservative MP Graham Stuart on a visit to Parliament to lobby for a change in the law.
Joanne Clixby, 54, said: ‘I don’t like how MS3 are riding roughshod over the people of Hedon and they are lying that KCOM won’t allow them to use their infrastructure in Hedon.’
Mrs Clixby questioned why MS3 did not go to Ofcom to resolve the issue. She is annoyed that MS3 used the ‘permitted development’ rules, which denied anybody the chance to object to the planning authority.
Retired nurse Joyce Whittle, 62, said: ‘We need to raise awareness to everybody in the country that this can take place on their streets.
‘We want to change the rules of permitted developments, which the Government brought in last year to allow these telecom companies to come into an area and tell people they are going to put up poles and then, 28 days later, turn up, dig holes where they want to and erect them.
‘There has been no consultation and we did not get a chance to object to the council.
‘We managed to delay the work on Monday on a different street and today they had to leave the street at lunchtime, having done very little.
‘We are going to do our damndest to stop them putting up the poles.’
Guy Miller, MS3’s chief executive, previously said: ‘We understand some residents are upset by this work, but we would like to remind people it’s against the 1984 Telecommunications Act to obstruct telecoms workers when they are carrying out work.’
MS3 has been contacted for comment.