People living in Watt Place, Milngavie, were stunned to see Scottish Gas Networks (SGN) workers digging up the entrance to their cul-de-sac.
Engineers from the firm then began fitting an industrial-style box housing main gas pipes.
Now residents are petitioning SGN to move the box - called a gas-governor.
Jacqui Mackenzie, who lives in Watt Place, said: "We could not believe it when we saw the workmen on site fitting these industrial pipes.
"And then we saw the gas-governor being installed right at the entrance to the street.
"There had been no warning, we weren't contacted beforehand and we were not given the chance to object to this eyesore."
Work began around two weeks ago and Watt Place residents immediately contacted East Dunbartonshire Council.
Initially the council refused to act.
But bosses now say SGN should have applied for planning permission for the structure and the company must now submit an application.
But locals believe this is not good enough and want the pipes moved underground or taken elsewhere.
They have organised a petition and have the backing of local MP Jo Swinson.
Diane Campbell, director of governance and regulation at East Dunbartonshire Council, said: "SGN believed that the work could be done as a 'permitted develop-ment' and that they did not need planning permission.
"We have requested an application and advised SGN to stop work on the site."
Hannah Adam, spokeswoman for Scot-land Gas Networks, said: "A governor is an essential piece of equipment we use to maintain the approp-riate gas pressure.
"We met customers on site last week and we will continue to engage with and listen to the local residents."