Residents on a County Durham street have reacted with fury after ‘huge’ telecoms cabinets appeared on the corner of their estate.

Neighbours on Longdean Park in Chester-le-Street have been left fuming after Virgin Media installed the ‘eyesore’ cabinets with no consultation.

Locals say the cabinets are so big they must be seen to be believed.

Dennis Hall, local resident and parish councillor, said: “These huge cabinets must be seen to be believed.

“Neither Durham County Council nor Virgin Media took any steps to consult residents about their planned location, despite there being a suitable, less obtrusive site,  just a few yards away. 

“This is totally unacceptable, and the County Council should be ashamed of how insensitively they dealt with this matter.”

Locals believe the cabinets were originally set to go around the corner but were repositioned for reasons they don’t understand.

Lib Dem Councillor Craig Martin said: “What angers residents the most is that a simple measure of moving the cabinets a few metres around the corner would dramatically reduce the impact.

The Northern Echo:

“It is important that nothing impedes access and repair of communications infrastructure, which is becoming as important as water or electricity. But ignoring any concerns and refusing to make simple or small changes is just not fair.”

The residents are now campaigning for the cabinets to be moved elsewhere where they’re less of an eyesore.

Virgin Media said it consulted with the council before installing the boxes.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “We’re currently expanding our network in the County Durham area to bring ultrafast gigabit broadband to more homes and businesses.

"We make every effort to choose our cabinet locations carefully and prior to any installations, we have a duty to notify the local authority. In this case, no issues were raised and we received the necessary permissions.”

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Mark Readman, Durham County Council’s head of highways, said: “As outlined by Government, operators such as Virgin Media do not need to seek permission from the local highways authority to install a street cabinet.

"Government regulations also state that any consultation with residents is voluntary and is to be carried out by the operator.

“As a local highway authority, we would become involved if the location of the cabinet created a highways safety issue. While there is not a safety issue in this case, we have made Virgin Media aware of residents’ concerns following the complaints we have received.”