'Trench' left outside family's home for 12 weeks after charging port fitted next door

·3-min read
Pete Matthews on his driveway in Poole, Dorset. (BNPS)
Pete Matthews on his driveway in Poole, Dorset. (BNPS)

A family was left with barriers and a “trench” outside their home after an electricity firm installed a car charging port next door.

Pete Matthews, 52, said the front of his house in Poole, Dorset, was left in a mess, while his neighbour's driveway was immaculate after the fitting by Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN).

The company left barriers up around the 15ft by 3ft hole in the ground which is still there three months after the work was done.

Father-of-three Matthews said: "My neighbour has got a beautiful drive, a beautiful electric car and a beautiful electric power point, while my house looks like Beirut.

"I have had 12 weeks of only being able to use two-thirds of my drive. I have got eight barriers on my drive.”

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Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN) left barriers up around the 15ft by 3ft hole. (BNPS)
Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN) left barriers up around the 15ft by 3ft hole. (BNPS)

Matthews and his wife Colleen, 42, struggle to get in and out of their front door while the postman has to leave their post under a brick as he can't get to their letterbox.

The couple claim their £5,000 TV specially built into their wall and their £800 shower also broke due to an electrical surge when workers turned the power off and on again.

Matthews lives in a semi-detached house but the electricity supply for both properties is on his side.

He said his neighbour warned him in April they were having a power point installed and his drive may have to be dug up.

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But the business improvement manager said he never heard from SSEN and didn't give permission for the work.

He said it was only when he and his wife returned home from a family funeral in Newcastle in May that they discovered a large pile of rubble on their drive.

He demanded the engineer stop the work so it could be inspected following the alleged damage to his TV and shower.

But he says nobody from SSEN has been out to see him and they have failed to fill in and tarmac the drive.

Matthews added: "I feel like we have just been discarded by SSEN, almost to the point of them saying 'if we don't answer them they will go away'.”

The 'trench' outside the Matthews home in Poole. (BNPS)

As well as the 4ft rubble pile and the trench, he said there was also spray paint and a large crack in the wall on his drive.

Matthews said the SSEN complaints department had repeatedly ignored him.

He said they finally sent him an email claiming they had offered to visit the site before work was carried out but he had not responded to the request.

Matthews added they also told him they were no longer obliged to complete the work.

Judy Butt, a local councillor, described the situation as “outrageous” and said she had not received a response when she asked SSEN for a solution.

A spokesperson from SSEN said: “SSEN is continuing to engage with Mr Matthews to resolve this situation and apologises for any inconvenience caused.”

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