A Fermanagh councillor has urged residents to be aware of contractors who have begun excavation work in relation to Project Stratum – the largest publicly-funded telecommunications infrastructure project of its kind in Northern Ireland.

Sinn Féin councillor for Erne West, Chris McCaffrey, said he had been made aware of works taking place on property allegedly without the proper procedures being followed.

“I urge everyone to please be aware – people in the Belcoo area, in particular – that some third party contractors working for or on behalf of Fibrus have recently begun excavation work on people’s property without any proper notice to these property owners whatsoever, and without their prior consent,” he claimed.

Councillor McCaffrey said these issues were being flagged by himself urgently as constituents have got in touch in recent days to express their deep concern at how excavation work was started on their property without any notice or consent, with diggers and machinery being operated near vehicles.

“While this government contract is of course very important, and the work has to be carried out, unfortunately, it appears Fibrus have so far racked up numerous issues around County Fermanagh,” Councillor McCaffrey alleged.

He continued: “Any grounds work that is carried out by Fibrus and its employed contractors on people’s property must be repaired and restored to the expected and agreed standard of the property owner.

“If contractors begin work digging up your property inside your boundary without your prior consent, or without notice, instruct them to stop, and contact Fibrus at 028 9099 3230, or myself at +44 7907 255 317.”

In response to the issues raised, a Fibrus spokesperson told The Impartial Reporter: “At Fibrus, the residents of our communities and our employees are our number-one priority.

“Work undertaken by Fibrus is done so with prior notice and approval from the DFI [Department of Infrastructure].

“In this case, we can confirm the excavation work was not carried out on private land; however, we are engaging with the individual who raised the issue, and are committed to finding a solution for all involved.”