Rochdale resident furious giant IX Wireless Telecomms pole erected next to house

A resident in Rochdale fears the 'giant' telecomms pole will affect the value of her home
A resident in Rochdale fears the 'giant' telecomms pole will affect the value of her home Credit: LDRS / Alan Chadwick

A pensioner says she is furious after a broadband mast was put up just inches from her home without warning.

June Eastwood, 76, claims IX Wireless did not contact her before starting the work, despite it causing the whole house to shake during the installation.

Ms Eastwood has now been left with the pole directly outside her home of 33 years, on Claredon Street in Rochdale, and says she fears more work may be planned to make the structure even taller.

She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “I have no control over it. They were here for four hours and everything in the house was shaking.

"We have been here for 33 and a half years, I was sure they should have given me some warning.

“I think it’s a disgrace. Our neighbours can see it when they open the window.

"What will happen to the price of my house which I have kept in good order? No one will want it."

Neighbour Alan Chadwick, who lives across the street and can see the pole from his window, says it was put up on Monday, August 18.

Ms Eastwood confirmed she has put in a complaint to the council about the broadband mast and hopes something can be done about it.

Councillor Neil Emmott, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, called the structure a “giant monstrosity” and urged the UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, to stop “mast madness” in Rochdale.

He told the LDRS: “This is yet another example of an unsightly and intrusive telecoms development riding roughshod over a local community.

"It is totally out of keeping for the location and I completely sympathise with the residents who have had this giant monstrosity imposed upon them."

“It is outrageous that councils have no proper say on the siting of these masts, which is why I have consistently called on the government to step in and strengthen planning regulations.

“I am all for faster broadband and connectivity but these new masts and poles that are springing up everywhere are just heaping misery on people."

"It’s time for the government and the regulator Ofcom to show some teeth, listen to residents and take action to put an end to this mast madness.”

The IX Wireless poles carry high speed broadband and the company has applied for permission to install them in other regions in Greater Manchester such as Oldham where 29 may be installed subject to approval.

In 2022, the firm completed works across the North West in towns such as Blackburn, Burnley, Nelson, Accrington and Blackpool.

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

A spokesperson from IX Wireless said: “The placement of the poles are within permitted development rules which allow telecom providers throughout the UK to undertake infrastructure work, and local councils are always aware of any work being commenced.

“The latest investment in digital infrastructure will provide the communities in Rochdale with much needed gigabit-capable broadband services at a fraction of the cost of other broadband providers.

“We understand that while many people have welcomed investment in the roll-out of digital infrastructure, some people are unhappy with the installation of new poles.

“Where necessary we are happy to speak to residents who may feel a structure is causing an obstruction."

“We believe the only way to level-up the region and move towards a digitally inclusive environment is to invest in a new innovative network which will give people the same opportunities as those across the country otherwise we are at risk of being left behind.

“New infrastructure enables us to provide communities across the North West with more choice, better service and cheaper broadband.”

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “We’re aware of this issue being raised in relation to masts in several local authorities in the North West.

"There are planning processes that should be followed, and we understand local authorities are considering their response to this.”

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