Residents who returned from work to find a high 5G pole that looked like a “rocket” in their cul-de-sac with “no notice” were incensed.

In the Rochdale community of Balderstone, neighbors expressed their “great dissatisfaction” in not receiving notice of the building of the 65-foot tower so close to their houses.

When mother Clare Brophy arrived from work one day and saw the mast towering on the opposite side of her garden fence, she said she “almost had a heart attack.”

But she isn’t the only one who has complained.

Amy Openshaw also lives on the street. She said it’s an eyesore and couldn’t believe that neither she nor anyone else was consulted about it.

Openshaw told the Manchester Evening News:

“It isn’t nice to look at. When you’re in the rooms at the top of the stairs, it is there, in your face. We literally went to work and came home and it was there. I’ll probably tell more when all the leaves start dropping off, I’ll see it a lot more then. There is a lot of open space where it could’ve gone, rather than literally there.”

Rochdale Council had originally rejected the planning application for the mast. Back in March last year, it said it would ‘represent an incongruous and dominant feature’ near homes.

Speaking about it, one local resident said they weren’t a ‘NIMBY’ (not in my back yard), but they are angry at not having a say.

The resident in question said: “I came home from work to find that this monstrosity had been erected at the back of my property.”

“We are extremely disappointed and angry that we were not given a chance to appeal this decision.”

“There are other places in the same area where this could have gone causing less obstruction to neighbouring properties. Unfortunately, I’m aware it had to go somewhere and they are an eyesore wherever they go.”

Not everyone on the close was angered by the mast, though.

Ange and Lee Shepherd, who live on the same road as Claire, said they were less bothered by the mast but wish they had been warned beforehand.

“To be honest, the only things that ever annoyed us were when they were doing all the work and I was struggling to get in and out of my car,” Shepherd said.

“But the only place we can really see it is the bedroom at the back. It doesn’t really bother me, but I can see why it would. But it’s the price you pay for progress, isn’t it?”

She added that they had not been notified of the construction of the mast but were annoyed by the construction noise that preceded it and said they were making a “correct racket.”

“When I knew it, it was there,” she said. “It’s not an eyesore for us. It’s not really a problem. There are a lot of trees in the way.”

Local MP Tony Loyd said he would be contacting government ministers over the incident, urging them to ‘urgently’ look into it.

In a statement, Cornerstone said:

“We aim to ensure they blend into the area as much as is possible while enabling quality digital connectivity to the communities we serve.”

“Cornerstone proposed a base station in Balderstone, Rochdale, to provide essential network connectivity including 5G services to the area. Unfortunately the proposed base station was refused by the Local Planning Authority [the council]. Following this refusal we reviewed all our options, but concluded that the proposed site remained the best option locally.

“A planning appeal was progressed and ultimately allowed. The site has now been developed and screening provided by adjacent trees will minimise views of the proposal within much of the local area.”

Sources: AWM, Manchester Evening News

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