FOR MORE than half a century it has stood as Yorkshire’s tallest building, visible from miles around and helping to broadcast television signals to millions of homes across the north of England.
Now the Emley Moor mast, which celebrates its 60th anniversary tbhis year, could soon have neighbour, with plans underway to construct a second towering structure temporarily placed alongside it so that modern electronic services can be brought up to speed.
Communications company Arqiva has requested a Certificate of Lawfulness to build a mast just slightly shorter than the 330.4 metre tall, Grade II listed concrete original which still stands as Britain’s highest free-standing structure.
The company has been asked by the government to modernise broadcast networks to cater for electronic communication technology such as 4G mobile phones services.
And documents supplied by Arqiva included in the application state that the company “must maintain broadcast services on a 24 hour basis, 365 days a year and the works must be implemented in a way that does not interfere with this”.
It continues: “In order to minimise interruption it will be necessary to erect a temporary mast near to the existing site which will be used to broadcast terrestrial television services whilst the antenna works are on-going on the permanent mast.”
The temporary mast needs to be a similar height so that the signal quality for TVs is not affected.
Emley Moor mast, on Jagger Lane, is one of the 50 main transmitter stations in the country.
Built between 1969 and 1971, it caters for 1.7m households and is the third such structure to occupy the site. The original was built in 1956 and stood at 135 metres before being replaced in 1964 with a 385 metre mast which famously collapsed in 1969 when a combination of high winds and large icicles on the guy wires brought it down.