Whitby TV mast switch-on delayed

THE switch off of the old television mast has been delayed for two weeks to allow people more time to retune their aerials.

However there was less positive news for Sandsend which will not get a booster aerial to strengthen the signal.

The changeover will now take place on 29 October rather than the 16th as was first announced.

The decision came following pressure from residents and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill who rang National Grid Wireless (NGW) to lobby on behalf of his electorate.

Mr Goodwill said he was pleased the company had agreed to a delay but was disappointed for the residents of Sandsend.

He said: "This extra two weeks will hopefully give people more time to get their aerials aligned.

"I am disappointed that the people of Sandsend will not be getting the booster aerial that was originally promised to them, which seems to have come down to cost.

"I am told there is something called Freesat which is for people who don't want to pay a monthly subscription and involves a one of payment to receive digital channels.

"The cost will probably be comparable to having new aerial fitted onto their property."

The Whitby Gazette reported how Mr Goodwill had signed a residents' petition started in Sandsend to get a delay for the switch off and to have a booster site fitted for the village.

Julie Bircher, community relations manager for NGW, said two weeks was the longest they could delay the switch off for.

She said: "We, and the broadcasters, have listened to feedback from the public and their representatives and moved the date for switching off the site on the East Cliff.

"Unfortunately, we need to take the mast down before the weather closes in this year, and there are steps that we must take in advance to enable that to happen, so the date cannot be moved any further. Signals must be switched off on the 29th October.

"It is now important that everybody ensures they have retuned their televisions to the new frequency if they want to continue receiving terrestrial television after 29 October."

Scarborough Council has reminded residents living in a listed building or conservation area that they need planning permission from the council for a satellite dish.

Gordon Somerville, head of planning services for the council, said homeowners could save themselves time and expense by always getting dishes fitted at the back of their property.

He said: "It is best if people check with the council to see if they require planning permission first.

"An application for a dish is handled by officers and are dealt with quickly."