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Pier lights spark not so glowing response

Alan Rapley with the new lights on Amble Pier.

Alan Rapley with the new lights on Amble Pier.

New lighting at a town pier has destroyed the character of the historic structure, a resident has claimed.

Fifteen lighting columns and energy-efficient downlighters were installed at Amble Pier towards the end of last year.

They replace the failed illuminations which had been ravaged by the salty atmosphere since they were put there 12 years ago.

The new lighting has been described as more resilient to the conditions, environmentally-friendly and cheaper to run.

It also allows people to walk safely along the pier – between the River Coquet and the Little Shore area – for the first time since the old lighting scheme failed two years ago.

But town resident Alan Rapley is not impressed, criticising the lights’ appearance.

The 65-year-old, who is also an artist, said: “I understand the reasoning behind the need to upgrade the lighting on Amble’s pier, but was horrified when I first saw the new lighting which has completely destroyed the character of the pier.

“I’m sure a more modern alternative could have been found without removing all the old lamp standards.”

The majority of the funding for the new pier lights was provided by Northumberland County Council with the remainder coming from Warkworth Harbour Commissioners.

Amble Development Trust acted as facilitator for the project.

Those involved with the scheme have defended the new lights’ appearance and said that they have in fact sparked positive feedback.

Harbour master Simon Baxter said: “Since the installation of the new lights there have been numerous favourable comments from both the fishing community and the public alike.

“The advent of the new lights will extend the use of the pier for recreational users especially during the winter.

“However, I would like to remind all people who do use the pier not to leave any litter.”

Northumberland County Council’s executive member in charge of regeneration, Coun Tom Brechany, said that the old lighting system has been replaced with a modern installation which ‘should stand the test of time against the elements’ and added that it allows ‘many more people’ to enjoy the pier safely.

Julia Aston, of the development trust, added: “There was water ingression with the lights that were there before. That’s why they were off so often.

“We had to find a replacement that would stand up to the weather conditions and keep the water out.

“We had to have something that was functional because it is a functional working port.

“They are not ornate but I can’t see why someone is horrified by them.

“It may be nice to have ornate ones, but the ornate ones we did have didn’t work.

“There has been a lot of positive feedback about the new lights, especially from the fishermen.”

 

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