New 5G mast in Mansfield wipes out TV reception for distraught elderly residents

The switching-on of a controversial 5G phone mast in Mansfield led to the switching-off of the telly for distraught elderly residents.

By Richard Silverwood
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 10:08 am
The controversial 5G phone mast was erected close to homes in Mansfield.
The controversial 5G phone mast was erected close to homes in Mansfield.

For when the 15-metre mast on the corner of Botany Avenue and Marriott Avenue was activated, it interfered with the TV reception for households still relying on aerials.

And now it has landed them with hefty bills to put things right.

"It wiped it out,” said Eileen Crossland, 78, a self-confessed TV addict. “I was so upset.

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The bill for £84 that Eileen Crossland was landed with to restore her TV reception.

"I have bad arthritis in my knees and I can’t walk further than the end of my drive.

"Therefore, TV is a lifeline for me. I watch all the soaps.

"But when I switched on, there was no picture, no reception, nothing. I was without it for more than a day. I don’t have the internet or Sky.

"I never miss an episode of ‘Coronation Street’, but I had to ring my sister and ask her to watch it, so she could tell me what happened.”

Widower Eileen, who has lived on Botany Avenue for 45 years, found out that a 78-year-old friend and neighbour of hers was suffering from the same problem, so she got her son, Shane, on the case.

Shane, 58, who owns the Mansfield Woodhouse-based company, Balmoral Flat Roofing, made several enquiries but could find out little.

So, eventually, he had to call out a TV engineer from Mansfield firm, Wudhus Ltd.

Shane said: "He got the TV working again by removing a booster my mum had fitted to her aerial that the phone mast transmitter was interfering with.

"This cost my mum £84, which she can ill afford. But it cost her neighbour £400 to rectify the problem because he had to have a new aerial fitted.

"At the very least, I feel they should be reimbursed for their costs and an explanation given.

"Both are reliant on TV. My mum was in bits.”

Shane has now been in touch with Mansfield’s MP Ben Bradley, who has promised to investigate.

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The mast, which Eileen brands an eyesore that has spoiled the view from her home, sits on a grassed plot of land, surrounded by houses.

It triggered uproar among residents when it was erected about a month ago, with many claiming they knew nothing about it beforehand.

Simone Swift said: “It’s appalling and looks out of place. I hope it won’t affect property prices.”

Mansfield District Council said it had put up a notice on a telegraph pole announcing the installation of the mast.

But it admitted it should have notified residents living close to the site by sending out a letter.

The council apologised and promised to write to them, explaining the background to the case.

The planning application for the mast was submitted by CK Hutchison Networks Ltd, which operates the 3 networks in the UK.

The mast was installed by WHP Telecoms Ltd, which supplies network infrastructure services for the telecommunications industry.

Planning papers, seen by the Chad, reveal that the council had initial reservations about the mast because of its size and close proximity to a residential area.

However, the developer amended its original plans by reducing the height of the mast from 20 metres and moving it further away from houses.