A CONCERNED father called for a mast to be dismantled after the previous one smashed through his roof and missed hittings his son's head by inches.

The incident took place during a violent storm in 2012 when the boy was sleeping at his home in The Meadows, Whitefield.

A mast used by next-door neighbour, amateur radio enthusiast Julian Niman, collapsed and came crashing through his roof.

The boy's dad, Adrian Grant, recalled the incident at a meeting of Bury planning committee last week in a failed bid to persuade councilliors not to allow the replacement mast to stay — which had been erected without Bury Council's permission.

Mr Grant, who was one of four objectors, said: "I like my home and the area.

"My neighbours are generally polite and respectful to each other.

"Although I am not one to prevent a man of his hobby, this mast has been erected without planning permission.

"It is six metres high — 12 metres when fully erected — which is higher than a two-storey house.

"The last mast, which was erected some time ago, crashed through our roof and the antennae spike only missed my son's head by eight inches while he slept.

"I fear the same might happen again, which would be incredibly stressful to the whole family.

"It looks awful and is a complete eyesore. The size and scale of the mast is not appropriate for a residential location and can be seen from our garden, living room, kitchen, landing and bedrooms. Other neighbours have the same view."

Representing Mr Niman, planning agent Greg Dixon said: "Since an early age, Mr Niman has been amateur radio enthusiast.

"He qualified as a licensed radio operator in 1972 and remains an upstanding member of the amateur radio community

"Amateur radio is an extensively governed practise. There are over 60,000 licensed operators in the UK with a further presence around the world."

Mr Dixon added that the previous mast had been there since 1987 and, when the new one is extended during use, it appears transparent and blends in with TV aerials and other street furniture.

Pilkington Park representatives Cllr John Mallon and Cllr Bob Caserta said they were disappointed Mr Niman had not sought planning permission for the new mast or spoken to his neighbours' association.

Cllr David Jones asked the council's development control manager Dave Marno if assurances could be given that there would not be another accident.

Mr Marno said that the structure was sound and it was up to broadcasting regulator Ofcom to monitor it.

Cllr Jackie Harris said: "Would I like this to be in my neighbour's garden? I wouldn't. It's offensive."

She was one of four councillors to vote against a proposal to keep the mast, but eight councillors voted in favour of keeping it.

Mr Niman did not attend the meeting and declined to respond to The Guide’s invitation to comment.