A MUM-OF-TWO was shocked when a 65-foot 5G mast suddenly appeared looming over her house "like a spaceship".
Clare Brophy returned home from work one day to find the huge pole towering like a "rocket" – despite plans for it being turned down by the council.
The 47-year-old, from Rochdale, is furious it has been installed so close to her fence – and claims it has spoiled her "gorgeous" garden.
Clare said the mast is so close to her property it's "ridiculous" and might as well be in the garden she takes great pride in.
“I didn’t know what to think – it’s like a spaceship has appeared in my garden,” she added:
“I nearly had a heart attack. I thought ‘what hell is that’.
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"It’s not like a lamppost – it looks like it’s going to take off, it looks like a rocket."
Rochdale Council refused planning permission for the installation at the start of the year – but the decision was overruled after mobile infrastructure company Cornerstone filed an appeal.
The planning officer said the benefits of the pole would enhance "local telecommunication coverage and appearance of the area", according to Manchester Evening News.
Clare, who lives with children Liberty, 18, and Ruben, 13, cannot get her head around why it was put on a small patch of land near people's homes when there is a field nearby.
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“Why the hell have they stuck it here, when there’s one [a field] five minutes down the road and another two minutes round the corner from that?" she added.
Clare owns a small cleaning business and recently spent over £1,000 cutting the trees down to let more light into her garden – something she now regrets saying "it's spoiled the skyline completely".
Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd said he will be approaching the government ministers responsible and ask them to look into the issue.
“Nobody should come home to find such a monstrosity with seemingly grossly inadequate consultation and no consideration for the view from her house,” he said.
Cornerstone said it understands how the mobile infrastructure impacts residents and they always try to minimise the visual impact.
The company added: “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.”
According to Ofcom, when it comes to 5G masts being installed a planning application must be submitted by the network operator – but then it is down to individual planning authorities to make the decision.
Residents can object to the installation if a public consultation is opened but ultimately once the decision is made, Boys and Maughan Solicitors say "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" and nothing can be done.
One contractor said masts like this will be appearing across the country soon in a bid to ensure better connectivity.
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