A restaurant owner has spoken out after a "50ft eyesore" telecommunications mast was fitted centimetres from his venue's premises. 

Johnny Gupta, 53, returned to his restaurant, the Lime Tree on Bury Old Road in Prestwich, last Thursday to find engineers installing the mast in front of the property.

The restaurateur says he was given no prior warning about the pole, belonging to telecommunications company IX Wireless, which was placed around 20cm away from the wall of the restaurant.

After contacting the company and the council, Johnny says he was told nothing could be done and the mast could not be moved or taken down.

Bury Times: The telecommunications pole outside the Lime Tree, PrestwichThe telecommunications pole outside the Lime Tree, Prestwich (Image: Johnny Gupta)

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Johnny said: “It happened on Thursday morning, one of my friends was driving past and told me.

"I checked my CCTV on my phone and I saw the workers outside erecting the pole.

“I drove to the restaurant and when I got there, I saw red. I saw this big 50ft pole in front of my restaurant, it was an eyesore.”

After arriving, Johnny said he asked the engineers to take the mast down but was told they did not need permission for the development.

“I was fuming", he added.

"I told them they had to chop it down and they said 'no', I was very, very, very angry.”

Johnny says he is now concerned about how the mast will affect business at the restaurant which has been trading in Prestwich for 16 years.

He says he has already seen dogs urinating against the pole, which he worries will attract pests such as rats.

Bury Times: Owner and manager Johnny Gupta outside the Lime TreeOwner and manager Johnny Gupta outside the Lime Tree (Image: Johnny Gupta)

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He added: “I can’t take a picture outside the restaurant anymore, I can’t do painting or scaffolding. It's 20cm away, I can’t do anything.

“I emailed IX Wireless and they said there was nothing they could do.”

Over recent months, residents across Greater Manchester have raised concerns about the installation of telecommunications masts in their communities.

Due to current government planning guidelines, companies do not need permission from councils to erect the masts and are not subject to the typical application or consultation process for building work.

Johnny said: “What really upsets me is that we are losing democracy, my human rights to protect my bricks and mortar, they have taken away that right.

Bury Times: The mast is just centimetres from the wall of the buildingThe mast is just centimetres from the wall of the building (Image: Johnny Gupta)

“If they can do that then what else can they do?

“Normally you have to get planning permission, if my friend didn’t ring me that morning I would have gone to the restaurant and had a heart attack.

“I’ve worked all my life to make the restaurant look presentable.

“We are in England in 2024, surely there has to be some respect.”

IX Wireless has been contacted for a comment.