RESIDENTS have formed a group to oppose 5G masts that have been built in their communities.

Accrington’s Resident Anti-5G Committee said some masts have been built right outside people’s homes while other residents in Burnley leads going through their gardens without their consultation.

The Hyndburn group, made up of Susan Howarth, vice-chair Stacey Luckhurst, committee members Tony Chadwick and Mark Luckhurst and others concerned residents says that this has happened across their borough, while councillors in Burnley say that they have also received hundreds of complaints from residents who have been affected.

Ms Luckhurst said: “These unscrupulous companies are installing huge masts to provide 5G internet at a much lower cost to themselves but generating maximum profits, regardless of the financial loss, distress and potential health hazard for local residents.”

She pointed out that other councils throughout the country have succeeded in banning the building of new masts and as such has questioned why those in East Lancashire cannot do the same.

She said: “I can not understand why our local councils have not managed to do enforce a blanket ban and protect and represent the interests of their constituents?

“I am also puzzled why they can not veto plans to erect these mast when other councils, for example, Bath, manage to do so.”

The group argues that the North West already has good internet coverage, meaning that the masts are unnecessary.

However, the company that has installed the masts has not needed the permission of local councils thanks to government legislation allowing them to bypass local planning regulations.

As a result the company installing the masts has not needed any local planning permission as it uses overground communications technology, pre-approved by the government.

Hyndburn Council leader Miles Parkinson said: “Of course we’re sympathetic and like all these things it should go to the planning committee but unfortunately the government has relaxed the planning regulations meaning that telecommunications are permitted developments.

“No one wants a 5G must outside their window but unfortunately that’s down to to government legislation.”

Cllr Parkinson has said that he hopes to help support the group in raising their objections to MPs.

Burnley Council leader Mark Townsend meanwhile has confirmed that a similar situation has occurred in his borough.

He said: “I’m as frustrated as everybody else because these poles and masts are a blight on our streets.

“There’s no recourse at the moment because its national regulations that apply.

“The only thing we can do here is to write to our MP and try to bring that decision back to a local level rather than settled through a national decision making process.”

In response, the group hopes to raise the issue with local MPs and councillors to make their feelings known and to investigate the companies behind the mast installations.

6GInternet, one of the companies installing the masts, has been approached for comment.