December 9, 2012

Home owners forced to pay £60 for digital television after wind turbines destroyed signal

7 December 2012 |

Residents whose TV signal is being disrupted by wind farm turbines will be told they will have to pay at least £60 to solve the problem.

Around 400 homes in Baxenden, Lancashire, are believed to have been affected with blurred images and loss of channels since 12 wind turbines were placed on Oswaldtwistle Moor.

Green energy company EnergieKontor, which last week apologised to householders for the problem, is to recommend they buy a new HD Freesat box costing £160 for each TV. But the company says it is offering to pay a ‘goodwill’ offer of £100 to each home.

The company states it followed all its planning obligations.

Steve Hewitt, who lives near the wind farm and whose television signal has been affected, described the offer as “ridiculous”.

Mr Hewitt, 69, said: “We spent a significant amount of money when the digital switch over first came. Now I’m going to have to spend money yet again to get the service I want even though it’s not my fault.”

Robert Seed, 73, whose home is also affected, said: “It’s just not on. We are going to have to pay hundreds of pounds to get it back to what is was before. Why should we be out of pocket?”

Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said residents have been left “shackled” by a legal planning agreement which states EnergieKontor must only pay up to £10,000 to solve any TV reception problems.

Nathan Wicks, company project manager, said they will now provide a contribution of £100 to the purchase and installation of a single Freesat box if residents made up the £60 shortfall. Mr Wicks said the offer will only be valid for complaints lodged by December 31 this year.

Council leader Miles Parkinson branded the situation a “shambles”, and said he will contact the council’s legal department to provide affected residents with free legal advice.

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