Residents protest against plans to build a 60ft mast in front of their homes

Video report by ITV Granada Reports Journalist Anna Youssef

A woman who only found out a 65ft metal mast was going to be installed in front of her home when a cherry picker and digging crew arrived says the stress of the situation is making her ill.

Elizabeth Hartley, who lives on Kilmory Drive in Bolton, says neither she nor any of her neighbours were consulted about the towering structure.

They are concerned it is going to be an eyesore and say more needs to be known about the impact on the environment and people's health.

Elizabeth Hartley says the stress of the situation is making her ill Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Mrs Hartley said: I feel sick all the time. I’ve been up nights spending so much time trying to research things and look at anything we can possibly find to stop it going ahead."

Blackburn- based broadband firm IX Wireless says the scheme's part of its eight million pound broadband roll out, which it says is faster because it uses overhead cables, instead of putting them underground.

But campaigners in Bolton say it’s not needed and not wanted.

Ian Upton from Blackshaw Residents' Group said: "IX Wireless seem to do what they like. We’ve seen this in other areas - Cheadle for example. They just come in; get the works done and say - well it's permitted."

In many cases planning permission is no longer required to install the masts if they fall below a certain height. It is part of the government’s drive to improve broadband access.

IX Wireless has appealed an order to remove its 60ft mast in Cheadle dubbed 'the rocket' by residents Credit: ITV Granada Reports

IX Wireless has already been ordered to take down a 60ft mast in Cheadle and fined for carrying out unauthorised work in Bury. The company says it wants to challenge other providers on price - but many believe the  cost to the environment is just too high.

Campaigners in Bolton say if necessary they’ll camp on the land until the scheme is scrapped.

Residents say they are prepared to camp on the land to prevent the company from installing the mast Credit: ITV Granada Reports

ITV Granada Reports asked IX Wireless to respond to the residents’ concerns. We have yet to receive a response.

In a statement Bolton Council said:"We are investigating this matter and will take planning enforcement action if necessary. We are engaging with providers to ensure the correct planning process is followed before telecoms infrastructure is installed."

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