SITE operators for the Bilsdale TV mast have said that the legal process to build a new temporary mast on the Bilsdale site is “taking longer than anticipated” and will not be completed this weekend.

Arqiva have been working to build the new temporary mast after the original mast went up in flames earlier this month.

READ MORE: When could my TV signal return after the Bilsdale TV mast fire? The latest

In an update provided on August 13, site operators said they are set to build a new 80m temporary mast on the site.

A spokesperson for Arqiva said: “There are many activities to this phase 2; preparation of ground, access, erection of an 80m temporary mast which involves raising the mast itself, running power, bringing in high powered transmitters and feeders to the antenna and configuration and test. 

“This part of our plan should reinstate TV coverage for the vast majority of viewers who receive signals directly from Bilsdale. 

“Due to the work required to deliver this solution we expect that work to be complete within 14 days from now.”

The work was due to be finished by August 28, however, in an update provided today, the construction of the new temporary mast will now be delayed.

A spokesperson for Arqiva said today: “Arqiva continues to do everything in its power to restore broadcast services as quickly and safely as possible following the fire which damaged the Bilsdale Mast earlier this month.

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“The majority of homes affected, more than 400,000, have now had their TV services restored, and FM radio and Digital Radio have also returned to most households.

“Our teams are working round the clock, alongside our partners, to return services to normal for people across the area as quickly as possible.

“We fully recognise that, for those who remain affected, this is a frustrating time as services have not been restored as quickly as we had hoped. We apologise for that.

“The remaining stages of our plan require access to the original mast site to deliver materials, build and commission the temporary 80-metre mast which would expand TV services to the vast majority of households.

“The legal process to secure appropriate access to the site to build the temporary mast is taking longer than we initially anticipated and as a result it will not be operational by this weekend as we’d hoped.

“We are making representations to the court as to the severity and the urgency of the situation but we are in the hands of the judicial system currently.

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“We continue to speak to the landowner to see if we can reach an access agreement whilst the application is being processed.”

A spokesperson for Freeview said: "We share in our viewers disappointment that the new temporary mast at Bilsdale has been delayed, particularly at such short notice.

"However, we have faith that Arqiva is doing everything in its power to reach a new access agreement with the landowner. 

"We will continue to keep viewers up to date with the latest information and guidance via our website and social channels."


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