Camden's giant crane kills the fun for TV addicts

PUBLISHED: 16:27 22 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:24 07 September 2010

Pascoe Sabido TV ADDICTS in Camden Town are being forced to go cold turkey after claiming builders are interfering with their signals. Residents around Harmood Street and Hartland Road have been forced to give up watching the box because they can no longe

Pascoe Sabido

TV ADDICTS in Camden Town are being forced to go cold turkey after claiming builders are interfering with their signals.

Residents around Harmood Street and Hartland Road have been forced to give up watching the box because they can no longer pick up a good reception.

The finger of blame has been pointed at a giant crane being used for the nearby Stables Market redevelopment.

"When you come back from a hard day's work, you want to put your feet up and watch a bit of telly but all the commercial channels are no good," said Vijay Mistry of Hartland Road.

Residents have taken their problem to McGee, the contractors in charge of building the multi-million pound revamped Stables Market.

"We're facing a brick wall when trying to speak to them," said Mr Mistry. "They say it is not down to them. It's been seven months already, and it's planned to continue for another 18 months.

"It's strange that local residents aren't taken into account. It defies belief. There must be some regulation in place, it shouldn't ever happen."

For months, the first question residents have been asking each other when they meet in the street is not "How are you?", but "How is your TV reception?".

Billy Osbourne of Clarence Way has no doubt what is to blame for the interference.

"The crane in the Stables Market has to be about 300ft in the air. It's absolutely amazing," he said.

"It's only become a problem since it went up. I think they should give us all some money so we can buy cable, or the BBC should cancel our licence fee.

"If the developers are disrupting people's lives then they should pay for it."

And Helen Richardson, 19, of Hawley Road, said: "When we arrived we were told you only needed to stick a wire in the back of the telly to get reception because London was so good - we've now got two aerials and it still doesn't work.

"We can't afford cable, so we have to watch most stuff through the internet. They should give us free cable or some form of compensation - if you're paying a TV licence every month, it's out of order."

Camden Town's Labour councillor Pat Callaghan has promised to investigate the interference.

She said: "It is causing a lot of inconvenience. I have heard of a couple of elderly ladies who just go to bed at night because they can't watch TV."

Not being able to watch Eastenders or Match Of The Day has not been the only problem caused by the redevelopment of Stables Market for local residents.

They were forced to complain to the council because the trucks making their way to the building site were causing havoc on their quiet streets.

A representative for Stanley Sidings, which is managing the redevelopment of the market, has promised to look into the problem.

He said: "This appears a solvable problem. We will get an expert down here to have a look and make some recommendations. The lack of action up to now has been down to a change in personnel."

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