Woburn wine boutique barricaded ‘for hours’

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The owner of a fine wine boutique in Woburn was shocked to find his business barricaded by broadband engineers last week.

Stefan Botfield, owner of Woburn Wine Cellar in Market Place, says he had no warning in advance of the technical work, carried out by firm Gigaclear to install ultra fast fibre broadband on Wednesday

Mr Botfield said: “We hadn’t had any notice whatsoever. I would have expected some kind of visit or at least an official letter to let us know about it. It’s not like these weren’t planned works!

A Gigaclear spokesman said: “We are surprised to hear the feedback from Mr Botfield as we have worked closely with the businesses and traders’ association in Woburn ahead of the building of the Gigaclear funded ultra-fast fibre broadband network.

“The team responsible for the building of the network hand delivered leaflets to all premises, and spoke to a representative from each business, including Woburn Wines, in order to answer any questions.

“Our team of contractors are on site from 7am in the morning and whilst the safety barriers in the photographs were up at 8am when the image was taken, they were removed in time for the business to open at 10am, in order to avoid disruption.”

But Mr Botfield rubbished the company’s version of events.

He said: “I was so outraged that I got a member of CBC Highways over at 11.00am and he was stood in my shop watching as customers were unable to enter. The barriers were up until midday.

“As for consultation, the only prior contact I’ve had from Gigaclear was a leaflet months back trying to sell me ultra-fast broadband. There was nothing to say, ‘on such-and-such a day your business is going to be closed’.”