Getting wind of more TV troubles?

The turbine being repaired last week [Graham Mountford]

The turbine being repaired last week [Graham Mountford]

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More families in Heath and Reach and Leighton Buzzard could have their TV signal affected if a proposal for a second “iconic” wind turbine in the area is approved.

The application was submitted to Central Beds Council just days before the current wind turbine located at Double Arches quarry on the edge of Heath and Reach was fixed on Thursday, following nearly six months out of action.

One source told the LBO that the fault was with the motor of the turbine, while another suggested the height of the structure could be reduced to cope with movement and vibrations.

The LBO has approached developers Arnold White Estates (AWE) for comment about the long-standing inaction of the blades, but they declined to respond. Plans for the second turbine have been submitted by Checkley Wood Ltd – an offshoot company of AWE.

The design statement described the Double Arches wind turbine as “iconic”.

It states: “Following the successful commissioning of the first turbine, the company wish to complete its original vision and develop the second, final wind turbine.”

The new turbine would be up to 490 feet tall and is planned to be built in the recently vacated Checkley Wood Farm, located off the A5 near the hamlet of Potsgrove.

The turbine would be identical to its twin at Double Arches, with a lifespan of 25 years and is expected by AWE to produce enough energy to supply 1,874 homes in its first year.

Included within the plans are the results of an investigation last year into TV reception problems caused by the current turbine at Double Arches Quarry.

The report by GTech Survey Ltd states: “Interference exists for Sandy Heath Freeview viewers located within Heath and Reach and northern parts of Leighton Buzzard.

“In these locations the presence of unwanted signal reflections and interactions from rotating wind turbine blades is likely to disrupt Freeview reception. When receiving transmissions from transmitters through the wind turbine, severe interference was noted for Sandy Heath services.”

The report went on to state one way of fixing the problem was to install digital satellite television, while another was to rotate the antennas towards Oxford or Crystal Palace transmitters – which would result in the loss of regional programmes. It adds: “However an antenna engineer would need to determine what service is available at the location due to patchy coverage from both transmitters within the study area.”

It said that of 108 complaints received in December 2014 and early 2015, 53 had been resolved through moving antennas away from the Sandy Heath transmitter.

A report on the impact of the proposed second turbine by Albro Planning and Environmental confirms that more homes could have their TV signal affected.

It reads: “The construction of the proposed Checkley Wood wind turbine could affect a number of other properties in Heath and Reach and Leighton Buzzard.

“For those who experience interference to their television service following the erection of the Checkley Wood wind turbine, the same recognised and established mitigation measures can be applied to ensure that if any Digital Terrestrial Television interference is experienced, it is rectified at the applicant’s expense.”

Victoria Harvey, from South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth, has praised AWE for going “above and beyond” to ensure wildlife habitats were protected, including fitting boxes for bats.

The public can email their comments about the application to case officer Debbie Willcox at debbie.willcox@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

Heath and Reach Parish Council has arranged a public meeting to take place at Heath Barn on Thursday May 26 at 7pm where members of the public are invited to express their comments.

A decision is expected to be reached by August 4.