A COUPLE are calling for a housing developer to reimburse them for a 16-foot TV aerial they had installed... after a block of flats allegedly scrambled their telly.

John and Joan Clark, of Holly Walk in Witham, say their television reception dropped off on July 4 after developer Bellway put the finishing touches to the roof of a new three-storey apartment building at its Rivenhall Park complex.

The new development is a stone’s throw from the couple’s home.

Joan, 75, said: “Before they had the covering on the roof they had the wooden buttresses on it and it was fine.

“The signal would go through that.”

She added: “They’ve been building all through the year.

“We started getting the problems when they finished the roof.

“We’ve had enough interference from the site.

“We’ve had dust we’ve had to be cleaning up. We’ve lived here for 40 years.”

After noticing the television interference, which turned John’s recording of Rumpole of the Bailey into a fuzzy screen, they called a private engineer who arrived within 45 minutes.

The engineer managed to fix the interference by installing a 16-foot aerial on the side of their house, at a cost of £240.

John and Joan now want Bellway to repay them that cost and say the flats were not a problem until the roof was finished last month.

Joan said: “That’s a lot of money for us, especially when it’s not our fault.

“We’re hoping we can get something. It’s a matter of principle.”

Joan took up the issue with Bellway in early August, but says Bellway claimed the roof was finished in January.

Joan disputes that and showed the Times a photograph from April 6 which she says proves the roof was not installed by then.

She also said when the planning application was put in two years ago there was outcry in the area, with a petition being set up by Green councillor James Abbott.

She said: “When they did the plan for all the houses you couldn’t plan something was going to happen to the TV reception.

“You can’t predict that. They didn’t tell us that it was a possibility.

“They probably didn’t know.”

She added: “We’re the little people and they think they can get away with it.

“People say we’re not going to win.

“But if you make enough noise then maybe we can do it.”

Bellway has been approached for comment but did not respond before the Times went to press.