Neighbours furious after smelly 30ft pole erected in front of their houses

Angry locals are taking their frustration out on a telecoms company after a 30-foot “smelly” pole was put up in front of their homes.

Led by Sophie Johnson, 29, they got an unexpected shock when OpenReach placed the 9m eyesore outside their homes.

Sophie, who lives on Link Road in Oldham, claims that she was only told about the plans to erect the pole just two months ago, and only by chance when a notice when up on a nearby lamppost.

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Six families put forward objections, but heard nothing back.

Then, without warning, the pole was erected – and it has been lathered in a strange black tar-like substance that “absolutely wreaks”, she claims.

And it is now seeping into their homes.

She said: “It stinks. It absolutely wreaks.

“It’s an odd smell – and it’s awful. You can smell it in my house when I’ve got the windows open.

“It’s like tar but a bit fouler than that, and they’ve painted it all over this pole.

“A note appeared on a lamppost about putting this pole up, and me and the surrounding houses where the pole was going to be, we all objected to Open Reach.

“We were expecting another letter coming back saying you can have a consultation or something, but next thing I knew, I came home to find it had been put up.

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“I’m worried about the value because before we had a lovely view of the hills and Hartshead Pike and now that’s been blocked by this pole that’s been plonked there.

“Everyone on the street looks after their garden and helps with the general upkeep of the place, and then you’ve just got that in the way.”

And neighbour Julia Withall, 55, agreed.

She claims to have recently had her house valued at around £325,000

She also recently completed an extension to her property, and now has fears about the pole decreasing her home's values.

She said: “It’s right in front of our house, and every window in the front our house, the pole is in front of it.

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“We’ve got a sitting room upstairs – like a snug – and we’ve got a skylight up there, and you can even see it through the skylight.”

“I’d never buy a house under a pylon or anywhere near a pylon.”

An Openreach spokesperson said the mast was installed as part of an upgrade to broadband services in the local area and claimed it was “legally sited”.

They said: “The correct process was followed for the erection of this pole, and it is legally sited on the public highway.”

An Oldham Council spokesperson also confirmed that under the current regulations, the pole did not require any planning permission.

No official comment was made on the tar-like substance, or the smell.

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