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TV signal’s gone with the wind

TV viewers are furious a new £150million wind farm is blowing away their television reception.

Householders in the East End of Glasgow have been forced to turn off their TVs because they can’t see their favourite programmes or watch the action from Wimbledon.

Several engineers have visited retired caretaker Alexander Fleming’s home in Wellpark, Dennistoun, after he complained his TV picture and sound quality was so bad.

But experts have been unable to sort the problem which they’ve blamed on the giant Whitlee windfarm on Eaglesham Moor which is causing problems for the Darvel transmitter.

Alexander, 60, and his wife Delia, 57, had their aerial checked out which was found to be working perfectly.

Mr Fleming said: “I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my TV reception. It cuts out regularly, the sound goes and you can’t hear what they are saying and the picture breaks-up.

“Lots of other people in the area who are served by the Darvel transmitter are having the same problem. I had an engineer out and he said it was the windfarms that are causing it. It’s got so bad you can’t watch TV. My wife just turns it off and goes to bed early.”

The couple are now resorting to getting a £95 Sky connection which they hope will solve the problem.

Their neighbour in Dunchattan Street, Alex Getty, 44, has the same complaint with his TV. He said: “It’s very annoying especially when you are watching the tennis and it goes off for a few seconds and you miss a good shot.”

Most of Glasgow is served by the Black Hill transmitter, but a small number of homes in parts of the city use the Darvel transmitter in East Ayrshire.

It means the signal must pass over the 140-turbine Whitlee windfarm to reach Glasgow residents.

The £150million windfarm, where the first turbines were put up in November 2007, will eventually cover 21 square miles and provide enough power for 200,000 homes.

Sam Berry, of engineers SCI Communication Services in Ibrox, said: “There have been problems with the transmitter because of the windfarm.

“Most of Darvel serves Ayrshire, but there’s a small amount of homes in Glasgow which have been affected. If it’s a transmission problem there’s not a lot we can do about it.”

A spokeswoman for ScottishPower Renewables, which operates the wind farm, said: “We are looking into a handful of queries regarding television reception. A small number of inquiries have already been dealt with, all with a positive outcome.

“Our specialist contractors will investigate all inquiries and, where appropriate, will rectify them as soon as possible.

“Communication with the local community has always been an important part of the Whitlee project and we remain committed to this approach.”

By Graeme Murray

Evening Times

3 July 2008