Interference expected from giant transmitter

Black and white television
Black and white television

A 52-metre high mast in Chase Farm will be operational within weeks and set to run all day for the next six months.

And residents now have a tense wait to see if the move will create havoc with broadcast signals across the town.

The temporary broadcast mast off Chase Lane and Birmingham Road is almost ready to be put to use after being approved by Warwick District Council planners last month.

The structure will remain in place until September and serve as an alternative while essential maintenance is undertaken at the nearby Droitwich transmitter.

Communications company Arqiva, which is behind the mast, said it should all be up and running on March 23.

And has now released advice on what to do if you find your home telephone lines affected by interference with signals after this time.

A company spokeswoman said some interference may take place during the work.

She said: “Work has begun to install the temporary mast and it is expected to be operational within the next few weeks, broadcasting between 8am and 6pm for a period of up to six months. While the temporary transmitter is in operation it is possible, but by no means certain, that some people may experience some interference to fixed line phones due to the phone line acting like a receive antenna.

“This effect can sometimes be reduced by a simple device fitted to the phone cabling, and we will have some of these available. It is impossible to predict where this may happen, if at all, but I have written to households closest to the temporary mast with my contact details.”

Kenilworth Town Council initially made no objection to the plan on the grounds that the mast was only operational for a year - with strict conditions that this time was not extended.

Members initially raised concern following upset over a 12-metre high phone mast at Beehive Hill and 15 metre-high unit at Crackley back in 2006 and 2008. The masts left the town reeling from connectivity and signal problems making the council cautious for future applications.

The current planning application is for a temporary use of land until 30 September 2014 for the stationing of a broadcast mast and associated development.

It was granted by Warwick District Council planners in February this year.

Anyone with issues surrounding the new mast can contact Angela McLean, community relations manager at Arqiva, on 07939 980445.

They can also request equipment to help if any problems do occur.