A new pole in an Oldham road has angered residents – with one resident saying it ‘stinks'.

Sophie Johnson, aged 29, lives on Link Road in Springhead.

About two months ago, the street WhatsApp group was alerted that a letter had been attached to a nearby lamppost saying there would be wooden posts erected on the street.

Sophie says six residents, including herself, all wrote letters of objection to Openreach, who erected the pole, but did not get a response or even an acknowledgement.

On Tuesday, the situation took a turn for the worse.

Sophie said: “I was at work on Tuesday, and all of a sudden, they’d put this huge pole up.

“There had been no planning put forward for it.

“It’s not just me – it’s all the neighbours. We’re really annoyed at it – we’ve just been ignored, and then we’ve all come home from work and there’s a big pole there.

“My next-door neighbour and I had a view of hills – and now in literally every window in both our houses all you can see is this pole.”

Sophie was also concerned about the smell of the pole, and worried that it might be toxic, saying: “They put this black stuff all over the pole and it absolutely stinks.”

The council say the pole doesn’t need planning permission as it is considered a ‘permitted development’ under the law.

Asked how she felt, Sophie said it was a mixture of anger and frustration, adding: “Where was the consultation? We’ve all been ignored.”

The Oldham Times: Resident Sophie Johnson says the pole blocks her view of the nearby hillsResident Sophie Johnson says the pole blocks her view of the nearby hills

Sophie says they aren’t even sure what the pole is for, continuing: “We’ve been left in the dark.”

Openreach has assured The Oldham Times that the wood preservative put on the pole can smell for a short period of time, but that it is not harmful.

An Openreach spokesperson said: “We’re building a new, full fibre network across Oldham to give residents access to gigabit-capable broadband.

“This ultra-fast, ultra-reliable technology will bring huge benefits to local families and businesses - and boost the local economy.

“The new network already passes more than 10,000 Oldham homes and businesses, who can now order some of the UK’s fastest, most reliable broadband from their chosen provider, and work continues on the ground.

“Wherever we can, we use our existing duct-and-pole network to avoid digging and disruption.

“But in order to include some properties in the upgrade, we may need to carry out roadworks or put up new poles.

“We strive to select and site our infrastructure sensitively, balancing this with the need to meet local broadband demand.

“Poles need to be in the right place to provide internet, TV and other services to properties, must avoid other underground services like gas and water pipes and drainage, and meet regulations on space left on the pavement for pedestrians, cyclists and prams.

“All network providers follow a statutory process to install telecoms infrastructure on public land.

“We give local authorities 28 days’ notice before we put up 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 sited on the public highway.”

An Oldham Council spokesperson said: This pole is a permitted development, meaning Openreach did not require planning permission or consent from us, as the local authority, to erect this.

“However, we did notify this publicly via our Public Access system.

“While we do appreciate the concerns raised by local residents on this matter, we would advise them to contact Openreach directly.”