RESIDENTS on a Wirral street have shared their outrage over plans to install a broadband mast stating it will “ruin the area” in which they live.

People living on Dawpool Drive in Bromborough have been left furious after telecommunication infrastructure provider, IX Wireless, sent letters to residents stating they plan to erect 10-metre telegraph poles on the road.

The plans are said to support “high-speed” internet in the area.

Steve Allen, 54, who lives on Dawpool Drive, said “no consultation or discussion” was had with any residents ahead of the plans.

The environmental management company owner told the Globe: “IX Wireless have sent just myself and our next door neighbour letters of a planned telegraph pole installation directly outside our house.

“These are linked by over ground cables to a 15 metre mast somewhere in the road. I suspect it is a 6G mast that causes known health issues and the whole process has been very underhand with no consultation or discussion with any of the residents. The letter is very vague and poor quality with a blurred, unreadable image.

“I feel exceptionally aggrieved by the way IX Wireless have been allowed to just ride roughshod over the whole planning process.

“So far the company has provided no detailed technical specification, siting location or maps as I have requested and the installation seems like a 'done deal'.

“I am outraged that in this age of fibre optic and other broadband cabling being laid underground by almost all the other internet providers IX Wireless can erect 10 metre telegraph poles which are connected by cables to a 15 metre stainless steel masts without any consultation or having to go through any planning process at all. 

“The masts are not shared with any other internet providers and therefore if you have broadband or other internet already these masts and poles provides no benefit to you whatsoever.

“There are currently two existing BT telegraph poles in our road, IX Wireless are going to install at least 10 new and unwanted poles in addition to these. I have no idea where the mast will be erected.”

Mr Allen said he was also concerned that the installations would “ruin the area” and “devalue” his property.

He added: “My concerns are that these installations will ruin the area we live in for no benefit and devalue our homes as well as there being health risks attached to the masts, which have not been disproved satisfactorily.

“We bought our home because of the location and how it looks, we have also spent money renovating and decorating it and had to pay Wirral Borough Council to install an extended dropped kerb and only with their permission could the work be carried out. 

“This is not just nimbyism because these installations are going to be all over the Wirral and I suspect most residents are unaware as my neighbours were until I informed them, they were as shocked as I was to find out how this can just be allowed with no consultation or right of appeal and IX Wireless can bulldoze their way through communities regardless.”

What are the planning permission rules when it comes to telegraph poles?

Under a planning law known as “permitted development”, companies can install communications equipment up to 15m tall without first getting permission from the council.

Because poles under 15m are covered by permitted development, the council has limited powers to stop new ones from being installed. However, if the poles are blocking the highway or driveways then the council can take enforcement action.

A spokesperson for Wirral Council said: “We have been made aware of these proposals and understand the concerns residents have.

“We are clarifying whether the proposed works are permitted and if they are not what steps the council can take.”

A spokesperson for IX Wireless said: “The company takes care when confirming locations for our infrastructure.

“At these locations the company is planning to install 10m telegraph poles to support high-speed internet in this area. There are no 15m poles or masts being installed.

“We must state that concerns over health risks are unfounded and there are a great deal of misconceptions being shared.

“The placement of the poles is compliant with all structural and industry regulations and we work with local councils to address any concerns.

“The company also welcomes any input from residents which can help to improve our service.

“The infrastructure is also typical of other poles placed at sites by other companies and where necessary the company has used underground ducts.

“As part of our core remit, the company is running a campaign across the region to end ‘digital exclusion’ and are donating 20% of their network for free to a range of causes, this includes charities, schools and community groups.

“This has benefited some of the most vulnerable groups who may not be able to access high-speed broadband services.”