RESIDENTS have taken to the streets to protest against the building of 5G masts in their community.

Between 30 and 40 people took to the streets of Altham West on Sunday May 16 to make their feelings known, with Council leader Miles Parkinson, deputy leader Paul Cox and Accrington North Councillor Lorraine Cox amongst them.

They were organised by the recently formed Accrington Residents Anti-5G Committee which has said that they have been plagued by masts, built by IX Wireless, going up across their towns, in some cases right outside their homes, without their permission,

Speaking on behalf of the group, Jo Read said: "As you see a lot of us are elderly and many do not own a smart phone let alone a computer."

She added: "Anxiety amongst the residents is quite high as no one is getting any feedback from IX Wireless from questions they have put to them."

Ms Read said that, as well as involving the councillors they have also raised the issue with Hyndburn MP Sara Britcliffe, who who has said that she will raise the issue with Hyndburn Borough Council.

The residents group, made up of Susan Howarth, vice-chair Stacey Luckhurst, committee members Tony Chadwick and Mark Luckhurst and others concerned residents, hopes to continue its campaign and to publicise the ongoing issue.

Their problems arisen after the company began installing the masts without requiring 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.

As well as Hyndburn, residents in Burnley have also reported that masts have been built in their areas with their permission, in some cases with leads going through their gardens.

The masts have been condemned by council leaders in both boroughs with Hyndburn leader Councillor Parkinson these decisions should be brought back under local authorities control and former Burnley leader Mark Townsend describing them as a 'blight on our streets.'

IX Wireless has been approached for comment but has previously said that it continues to pursue an open dialogue with local authorities.

The residents committee however has said it will continue to oppose new masts being built.

To find out more about the campaign, visit its Facebook page.