Phone problems hit new development

JPCT 030712 Highwood Estate, Berkley's Homes in Horsham. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 030712 Highwood Estate, Berkley's Homes in Horsham. Photo by Derek Martin

West of Horsham developer Berkeley Homes has defended the fact that some residents have been moving into properties with no working phoneline.

Horsham District councillor Godfrey Newman (LDem, Forest) is one of the many people who moved into the Highwood development in time for Christmas, but was disappointed to find that BT had not yet connected the line to the exchange.

He said: “I moved in at the beginning of December and I’ve been told my phoneline won’t be fitted until mid January.

“It’s a Berkeley Homes house and I’m not blaming them. They’re just as fed up with BT as I am. Mobile reception is not particularly good either.

“It means I cannot do my council work because I have no access to the councillors’ website, which I need to have to get my emails.

“My neighbours opposite, who were here before I moved in, said it took a month to get their phone installed. One of the BT Openreach guys working here said they were behind.”

Janine Leadbeater from Berkeley Homes said: “We have had a hugely successful period but we are very tied to a work programme. We put the tunnelling in and BT Openreach comes along and lays the cabling. We are doing what we can. BT is one of lots of providers we work with. It’s not a Highwood issue or something particular to Horsham but a national issue.”

However a BT spokesman said: “We are not aware of any national problems in developments like this. We started work on this site when we received the first order for service as per the current process.

“There have been some blockages in ducting that have had to be cleared, and we are working closely with the developer. We are not aware of any outstanding orders.”

He added that if there were any outstanding orders they would investigate them.