Company steps in to help residents after complaints

The developer of an 18-turbine windfarm has vowed to help residents following complaints that the structures are scrambling television channels at homes nearby.

Two weeks ago, Frank Henderson, from North Charlton, told the Gazette that he has had problems with his Freeview reception ever since the 125-metre-to-tip windmills began operating at Middlemoor earlier this year.

He said other residents in the hamlet were experiencing the same thing.

Following complaints, RWE npower renewables, which won permission for the windfarm on appeal in 2008, has stepped in to help.

Martin Kelly, the company’s project manager for Middlemoor, said: “I was concerned to hear that some residents are experiencing problems with their television reception.

“This issue was looked into by our consultants as part of our pre-construction studies, but was not identified as a potential problem.

“However, in line with the planning conditions agreed with Northumberland County Council, we have a mitigation plan in place and are working hard to rectify the issues.

“In South Charlton, we have been working with the parish council to prioritise the properties affected and to look at the alternative solutions available, including satellite installations.

“Following isolated reports in North Charlton, we have re-directed the relevant aerial to an alternative transmitter and are investigating other potential sources of the interference, not connected to Middlemoor windfarm.”

After our story, Lesbury resident Dennis Grant contacted us to say that he had been concerned about the impact the windfarm would have on his television reception and gave evidence at the public inquiry in 2007.

He said this resulted in a clause being inserted into the final agreement to say that RWE would act to rectify any reception issues within a certain time-frame. He has not had any television problems.