TVs on blink as turbine turns

A view of the new wind turbine Lancaster University, taken by Guardian reader Sue Bowman.
A view of the new wind turbine Lancaster University, taken by Guardian reader Sue Bowman.

A new giant wind turbine has started turning - and left some Lancaster residents without TV reception.

One Haydock Road resident, who did not wish to be named, went out and bought a brand new television before realising that Lancaster University’s 100m turbine at Hazelrigg east of the M6 was causing the problem.

She said: “We had no indication that this was going to happen.

“We couldn’t get our TV reception to work so we went out and bought a new TV set.

“We’d only had our old one for 14 months.

“We bought the new TV on Wednesday, and when this one didn’t work either, we called the uni on Friday, having seen something similar happening in Ormskirk on the news.

“We got an engineer out on Saturday, and he said the signal was as bad as being in a forest.

“He changed the direction of the aerial towards Kellet and away from Winter Hill, and we now have perfect reception.

“I’m sure there will be others in the area who are having similar problems.”

The resident said she was very angry with the council for giving the wind turbine planning permission in the first place and with the university for not warning anyone that this might be an issue.

Phil Punt, from Robinson’s Electrical in Lancaster said: “To give the University their due they have admitted liability and have paid for my customers aerial to be relocated, however, it goes to show that those concerned in managing such a project have little thought regarding future repercussions which include wasting people’s time, not to mention of course - the carbon emissions used in resolving them.”

A spokeswoman for Lancaster University said: “Since the wind turbine became operational on Friday November 23 we have had six reports of local residents experiencing problems with their TV signal and we are very sorry for this inconvenience.

“It is not always possible to determine the exact impact on an individual property until the turbine is operational.

“We have made it a priority to survey the properties and to restore the signal as soon as possible.”