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Radio Station, White Horse Hill

Volume 436: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1947

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asked the Postmaster-General whether he realises the indignation which the proposal to erect a television station on White Horse Hill, in Berkshire, has caused among all who love England's beauty and respect her history; and whether he will assure the House that he will not proceed with it.


asked tht Postmaster General if he will make a statement regarding the proposed construction of a high radio mast and some buildings on, or in the neighbourhood of, the White Horse Hill, south of Uffington, on the Berkshire Downs; and, as the early British and Roman camps on the summit of this hill, together with Wayland the Smith's site, are preserved as national historical monuments, if he will undertake that no disfiguring structures will be permitted near the Ridgeway, which is a public right of way reserved for persons walking or riding and closed to all forms of motor traffic.

The proposed radio station near White Horse Hill is one of three small relay stations required in connection with research into the transmission of television signals by radio from London to Bristol and Cardiff. This research is being undertaken by the Post Office at the request of the Television Advisory Committee. All these relay stations have to be on high ground with unobstructed radio paths between them. The county planning authorities have been consulted as to the two sites needed in the Berkshire Downs area and these are located as far from the summit of the hill as technical considerations permit. One site is about a quarter of a mile south of the Ridgeway and the other about a mile and a half north-east of Wayland the Smith's Cave. The masts which will in fact be ordinary telegraph poles will not be more than 30 feet high and the small building on each site not more than about 15 feet high. Trees will be planted around each site. The hon. Members will, I hope, agree that everything possible is being done to avoid injury to the amenities of the Ridgeway.