A FUMING group of Barrhead OAPS have blown a fuse after three giant broadband boxes were installed right outside their homes without warning.

Lowndes Court couple Donald and Rosemary Ferguson say the three Virgin Media street cabinets are blocking the view from their ground-floor living room window.

But when the fed-up duo, aged 87 and 82, along with neighbour Betty McGrath, 83, complained to Virgin Media engineers when work began in January, the firm passed the buck on to East Renfrewshire Council (ERC).

Donald said: “We’ve got no outlook now at all with these boxes there.

“We had no consultation about this taking place at all. They just came and started to dig up.”

The trio, who also raised safety concerns during the work, have now called upon councillor Danny Devlin in a bid to resolve the issue.

The independent councillor said he will demand the boxes be removed and relocated to a more suitable place in Dunlop Avenue – which backs on to Lowndes Court.

He added: “Virgin Media has never spoken to the council about the installation of these boxes which is wrong.“There should have been full consultation with the residents affected and the council before these boxes were installed.

“The biggest complaint is they’re blocking their view.

“These people looking out their windows now can only see big steel boxes.

“I want the boxes removed and located in another position that suits all residents.”

However, Virgin Media insists it had notified ERC of the work – part of the expansion and upgrade of its network in Barrhead – and followed all procedures to the letter.

A spokeswoman said: “Virgin Media is currently expanding its network in the area to bring ultrafast broadband speeds to more homes and businesses.

“As we do so, we endeavour to minimise disruption and we apologise for any inconvenience to residents.

“In the case of the cabinets in Lowndes Court, the council was notified prior to Virgin Media installing the cabinets and the correct procedures were followed.”

Council chiefs told the Barrhead News communication companies including Virgin Media do not require planning permission to install the boxes.

A spokesman said: “Infrastructure providers, including broadband providers, have certain permitted development rights for boxes and installations.

“Planning permission is not required for these boxes, although we would expect them to placed in suitable locations which have minimal impact on residents.”

Barrhead Housing Association, which owns the homes on Lowndes Court, said it had followed up the residents’ complaints when notified.

A spokeswoman for the town’s housing association said: “We were advised that Virgin are installing three telecommunications boxes on the pavement in front of a resident’s living room window and they were not happy that this was blocking the view and taking up a large section of the pavement.

“We attended the site and spoke with workmen from Diona Contracts who advised us they were subcontracted from Virgin to fit boxes.

“Whilst we were there they phoned the foreman Paul Laughlin who advised that Virgin sought permission from the council after submitting notice as it was in their land.

“We also spoke to staff at the council offices at that time who advised us that the utility companies do not need permission to carry out works.”