AN Ilminster man claims his house has been left with damp and a two-metre long crack in a ground-floor wall after work to install a broadband box took place nearby.

Trevor Broom, 65, who has lived in The Beacon with his wife Janice since 2006, was shocked when contractors for BT tried to fix the internet device to his wall.

The Brooms’ hillside house is unusual in that the top half of the side wall is right next to the pavement while the ground floor abuts a bank along the top of which the pathway runs.

Mr Broom said he asked the contractor to install the machine further along the road, away from his house, but he said the vibrations from a digger going through the pavement left him with a 2.4-metre hairline crack in his wall.

He said: “I’m angry – all they had to do is knock on the door and say this is what we intend to do.

"They wanted to put the box beside my house where it would stand out instead of next to the power pole where it would be hidden – it’s ridiculous. We need some answers. This shouldn’t have happened.”

After Mr Broom complained to the contractor and a supervisor who was called out, he said he was left with rubble and two large holes in the pavement next to his house for several days.

One of the holes was filled in but Mr Broom said moisture was now creeping through his wall.

He added: “Our house is lower than the pavement, so moisture from the hole, which it looks like has not been sealed properly, is coming through the ground floor wall and the plaster is starting to fall off.

"Surely you have a moral obligation when you make some excavation on saying ‘this is what we are going to do’.”

A spokesman for BT said the work is part of their scheme to install superfast broadband.

He added: “As they [the contractors] started work on installing a new fibre street-side cabinet they were asked by some local residents if it could be placed in a different location.

"Work was stopped while approval was sought for the new location. We are not aware of any damage being caused by the contractors.”

BT said another location has been found and work to install the broadband box would take place this week.