Openreach erects a smelly telephone pole right in front of houses | United Kingdom | New
Openreach erected the massive mast in a quiet residential street in Oldham, Greater Manchester, just weeks after informing the owners. Sophie Johnson, 29, returned from work yesterday to find the pole had been installed – allegedly without further warning.
She and her neighbors fear the structure will hit their home values of £325,000.
And Sophie, who is a purchasing administrator at a construction company, said the pole was coated in a black tar-like substance which ‘absolutely gets in the way’ and enters her house when she opens her windows.
“It stinks. It really hurts. It’s a funny smell – and it’s awful. You can smell it in my house when I have the windows open,” she told Today.
“It’s like tar but a little dirtier than that, and they painted it all over that post.”
Six families have objected, but say they received no feedback from Openreach before the pole went up.
The telecommunications company says the device will boost broadband speeds in Greater Manchester.
But Julie Withall, 55, says it has ruined her family’s vision for beauty spot Hartshead Pike and fears it will drive down the price of her accommodation.
She continued, “It’s now ruined the view. We spent so much time installing an extension, and the post is now visible in all windows.”
“We have just seen our house valued at £325,000. But I think if anyone came to see it now they would be put off by the post. I would be put off by that.
“It’s right in front of our house, and every window in front of our house, the pole is in front.
“We have a living room upstairs – like a cozy little nook – and we have a skylight up there, and you can even see it through the skylight.
“I would never buy a house under a pylon or near a pylon.
“I’d rather they took it down. There’s gotta be other places they can put it – not right outside someone’s house.”
Plans for the structure were mooted about two months ago, but Sophie and her community have raised concerns.
The young woman added: “A note appeared on a lamppost regarding the placement of this pole, and me and the surrounding homes where the pole was going to be, we all opposed Open Reach.
“We expected to get another letter saying you could have a consultation or something, but the next thing I knew I came home to find it had been posted.
“I’m worried about the value because before we had a good view of the hills and Hartshead Pike and now that’s been blocked by this post that’s been planted there.
“Everyone on the street tends to their garden and helps with the general upkeep of the place, and then you just have that in the way.”
An Openreach spokesperson said the mast was installed as part of a broadband upgrade in the local area and said it was “legally located”.
They said: “We are building a new full fiber network across Oldham to give residents access to gigabit-ready broadband.
“This super-fast, ultra-reliable technology will bring huge benefits to local families and businesses – and boost the local economy.
“The new network already passes through more than 10,000 homes and businesses in Oldham, who can now order some of the UK’s fastest and most reliable broadband services from the provider of their choice, and the work goes on. continues in the field.
“Wherever we can, we use our existing network of conduits and poles to avoid digging and disturbances.
“But to include some properties in the upgrade, we may need to carry out road works or install new poles.
“We strive to select and site our infrastructure with sensitivity, balancing this with the need to meet local broadband demand.
“Poles must be in the correct location to provide internet, television and other services to properties, must avoid other underground services like gas and water lines and drainage, and adhere to space regulations left on the sidewalk for pedestrians, cyclists and strollers.
“All network providers follow a legal process to install telecommunications infrastructure on public land.
“We give local authorities 28 days notice before installing poles and liaise with them if they raise any concerns about planned installations.
“The correct process was followed for the erection of this pole, and it is legally located on a public road.”
A spokesman for Oldham Council confirmed that under current regulations the pole did not require planning permission.
They said: “This pole is a permitted development which means Openreach does not need planning permission or our consent as the local authority to erect it.
“However, we have notified it publicly through our public access system.
“While we appreciate the concerns raised by local residents about this, we advise them to contact Openreach directly.”