52-metre radio mast set to replace signals

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A 52-metre high mast at Chase Farm has sprung into life to begin six months of radio transmission.

The temporary broadcast mast will be used to transmit signals BBC Radio Five Live, Absolute Radio and Talk Sport while the mast in Droitwich is repaired.

It was due to go live at the weekend and should now be fully operational to continue streaming services - which residents feared could mean chaos for radio and television signals.

But Arqiva - the communications company behind the scheme - has assured the mast should not interfere with mobile phone or internet signals, or even phone lines of anyone living more than a few hundred metres from the mast.

Company spokesman Peter Wingate-Saul said all nearby households have been informed of the plans and given advice on what to do should problems occur.

“The radio broadcasts at medium wave, and as a result is at the same level as overhead phone lines,” he said.

“This might mean that some residents, when they pick up their phones, will hear the radio down the line.

“But this will only affect a very small number of people near the site, if anyone at all.”

The mast will only be used when work is carried out on the main transmitter between 10am and 6pm on weekdays, and some Saturdays.

It will not be operational on Sundays or when bad weather means repairs cannot be made to the main mast.

Anyone who experiences problems can call Arqiva to ask for magnetic devices to attach to phone lines if problems are noted.

The work is scheduled to last until August, with the mast being taken down in around September.

Arqiva was granted planning permission for the six-month project by Warwick District Council.

Back in 2001, the company used the same site for a similar transmitter but said further repairs should not be required for “some years to come” when the current work ends.