Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tenants lose out in Digital Changeover

The City Council has previously maintained communal TV aerial for its tenants - and most private sector tenants would expect the same from their landlords as well.

But I think they have a mess on their hands with their plans for the digital changeover. The Council plan for communal digital aerials on City Homes residences that are 3 or more stories high (i.e. very few in Coleridge), and have basically told residents in building 2 storeys high they need to make their own arrangements, and unhelpfully added that they will probably need planning permission.

I've followed this up with the planning department, and the situation on planning permission for aerials is far from straightforward - to be more precise:
"Part 25 Class B deals with buildings less than 15m in height and limits the number of antennas that can be put up without the need for permission to 2, of which only one may exceed 60cm in length and neither of which may exceed 100cm in length.  Furthermore, any antenna
-       attached to a chimney must not exceed 60 cm in length and must not exceed the height of the chimney; and
-       must not have a cubic capacity in excess of 35 litres; and
-       no part of an antenna installed on a roof without a chimney shall exceed the highest part of the roof on which it is installed; and
-       an antenna installed on a roof with a chimney must not exceed the height of the chimney stack or 60cm above the highest ridge tile, whichever is lower.
The length of an antenna is measured in any linear direction and shall exclude any projecting feed element, reinforcing trim, mounting or brackets."
The Council just telling tenants they 'may need planning permission' and leaving them to get on with it when so many people are affected by this is not very helpful.

The Council needs to rethink its decision and arrange to make digital aerials available to all tenants - but at the very least where it would be better to have a smaller number of communal aerials on two storey buildings, City Homes should be making the arrangements and dealing with the planning complexities. The current policies are unacceptable.


Anonymous said...

This whole digital changeover is just a tax on working people - forcing them to buy new stuff and throw away perfectly good stuff for no other reason than to bolster the economy. If you've four TVs in your house, that's a minimum of 160 quid you'll need to spend - if your TV arial is up to the job. Add on a new arial, rewiring to get the three TVs that are currently just on portable arials (or new ones of them too) and we're probably talking 6-700 pounds for many households. This is just a poll tax basically. And a pretty non-green one!

Anonymous said...

I agree with those comments. Why is no-one making more of a fuss about this? How can ordinary people make a fuss and be heard?