A FAMILY has been left astounded and suffering from headaches after a large Openreach pole was erected outside their front door – which they say gives off a ‘terrible, toxic odour’.

Jan Pluta, who lives in Verdin Street, Northwich, is trying to appeal to get the pole removed, which is partially blocking access to her front door.

She explained: “On February 11, the Openreach company erected a large pole in front of my house's only entrance, obstructing access.

“As the house's owners, we were astounded when the massive 20-metre pole with a toxic odour sprouted in front of the house, blocking the entrance to the building.”

The family is also worried about being able to sell their house in the future, ‘because no-one would want to buy a house with something like that before entering’.

Northwich Guardian:

“We filed an appeal and waited for a decision, but in the meantime, according to one of the employees, Openreach began sending a company to complete the cable installation,” Ms Pluta added.

“We objected and stated unequivocally that we do not want a stinky pole blocking our entrance to the house.

“This is our fifteenth year in this house. Our children were born here; it is a pleasant, quiet neighbourhood with friendly neighbours.

“There is a toxic odour that enters our dining room when it's sunny and every time the kids open the door because the pole stinks and is close to the front door.

“Our children have a headache.”

Openreach said an engineer had been to inspect the report of fumes coming from the pole, but no smell was identified in the vicinity.

An Openreach spokesperson added: “New poles can sometimes give off a smell, but it is very short lived. There's nothing visible on the pole that would cause concern.

“This pole is part of our new, full fibre network build in this area which will give the local community access to gigabit-capable broadband.

Northwich Guardian:

"This ultra-fast, ultra-reliable technology will bring huge benefits to local families and businesses - and also a welcome boost for the local economy.

"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 sometimes need to put up new poles.

“We always try 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.

"However, we will always revisit and re-evaluate the siting of a pole when a complaint is made.

“A surveyor will be returning to site to check the location of the pole and we will update the customer as quickly as possible."