21
Aug
2005

Tetra mast affecting TV claim

Northern Times, Scotland

A tetra mast erected under emergency planning legislation within sight of the A9 south of Brora is interfering with television reception in the area, according to a Keith Forbes, Ashcroft, Victoria Road, Brora, says that since the controversial mast was put up earlier this year he has suffered continuing interruptions to his Freeview digital channels.

He has now lodged an objection with planners over an application for the mast to remain for another six months in Dunrobin Wood and has raised the issue with the community council.

The Tetra (Terrestrial Trunk Radio Mast) is part of the new national radio communication service for the police, known as Airwave and has sparked sparked health fears because it transmits at a frequency very close to that used by the brain.

The 20-metre high mast was erected in Dunrobin Wood after a local outcry over plans to site it close to the Doll Ford bridge, a popular walking and picnic spot.

Writer and webmaster Mr Forbes (62) who lives with his wife Lois, is disabled and spends a large part of his week at home watching television. "I got Freeview last summer and initially had no problems but since April of this year we have been having no end of problems. It is not just during the day but in the evenings as well. The picture becomes horribly distorted or sometimes disappears altogether, " he said.

"I would say that in an average week we have interference at least 60 per cent of the time we want to watch television It might go off for half an hour, or two hours. We pay £134 a year in licensing fees and are just not getting our money's worth. I intend to report this to the licensing authority."

Mr Forbes, who is concerned that tetra technology may also interfere with heart pacemakers, says he contacted the BBC who told him 'off the record' that the interference may very well have been caused by the tetra mast.

He also consulted local electrical retailer Graham Begg who said they too had received complaints from customers about interference to their sets.

Community council chairman John McMorran told The Northern Times: "Mr Forbes has told us about his concerns over tv reception on terrestrial digital channels and I will pass these concerns on to planners. We understand that there have been a number of reports of people wondering what is wrong with their reception and having to constantly retune their digital channels and this may be attributable to the tetra mast."

19/08/2005
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