Safety switch-off for seafront lights

PUBLISHED: 10:00 18 July 2012

Archant

DECORATIVE lights will be stripped from part of Burnham seafront after experts ruled many of the lamp-posts are unstable.

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council is exploring the cost of removing the illuminations from the North Esplanade and putting them along the South Esplanade.

The move comes after a Somerset County Council report concluded a number of the posts are unsuitable.

Town council clerk Eileen Shaw said: “The county council are having issues with regards to doing some more work on the foundations of the lighting columns and they will not renew our permission to keep them on there.

“What we need to do at the moment is find out the cost of removing the lights from the north and putting them along the south.

“It’s not that the columns are not safe themselves but extra weight on the light columns is an issue so they could become unstable, as the lights put extra pressure on them.”

The decorative lights have long been a feature of Burnham’s seafront, but Louise Parkin, owner of Burnham’s Pavilion, said although they are an attractive feature, they do little to boost trade.

She said: “I’m sorry to see them go because I think they add to the ambiance of the town.

“But the lights are not going to do anything to the trade - we are not Blackpool. They do look nice but there isn’t any way, in our budget, that we can keep them.

“When they were first installed they were the cheapest lampposts, and given the weather we experience in Burnham, they were ridiculous. On a windy day they swayed left to right.

“They should have had something far more solid and this is the consequence.

“Everything is ruled by health and safety and it makes everything we do more expensive and harder to do.”

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