Shining a light on street lamp debate

The new LED lamps in Battery Place, Rothesay.
The new LED lamps in Battery Place, Rothesay.

The decision to replace heritage street lamps on Rothesay’s seafront with new LED lights has come under fire from members of Bute Community Council.

The lights along Battery Place, were put in place following concerns over safety.

At Wednesday’s meeting of BCC, community councillor Martin Catlin said: “They’re out of keeping with the structural integrity of these heritage lampposts.

“Surely there’s something more sympathetic that could’ve been put in place than these austere lights?”

Councillor Len Scoullar told those present that the ‘LED’ element of the new lights is as a result of the Scottish Government’s efforts to reduce the carbon footprint.

But he added that the main concern over the previous lights was that of safety due to exposed wiring which needed to be addressed.

Community councillor Craig Laird said: “If there was funding available, would we be able to replace the lights with like for like?

“I know the council is under pressure but maybe someone could source funding to replace these lights with a modern equivalent?”

BCC agreed to look at costings for replacing the lights with a ‘more sympathetic’ design with a mind to presenting them to the council for consideration.

A spokesman from Argyll and Bute Council told us: “The upgrading of the lamps to include more energy efficient LED lights is part of a scheme to update street lighting across Argyll and Bute.

“Our intention is that, where possible, only the internal components of heritage-style lanterns will be replaced.

“These particular lanterns had suffered from severe corrosion, with another five having recently fallen. In the interests of public safety we had to act swiftly and provide a prompt response.

“We installed the new LED lanterns in such a way that it would be easy to replace them with the teardrop style lanterns in the future.

“These replacements ensure every lamp is safe and working.”

A council spokesman added: “Local authorities can undertake certain works without the requirement for planning permission.

“They can erect, construct, maintain, improve or alter street furniture that is required in connection with the operation of any public service administered by them.

“In this case, the lamp-posts would constitute ‘street furniture’ and we would not require planning permission to carry out the relevant works, especially those urgently necessary in the interests of public safety. In addition, as the lamp-posts are not listed structures, no listed building consent is required.”