Saddleworth councillors campaign over street lights in conservation area

AN ENERGY giant’s plans to install new street lights across Saddleworth’s conservation areas have been halted by campaigning councillors.

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Lights by The Swan Inn, Dobcross

After a four-hour meeting, Parish Councillor Mike Buckley, backed by ward councillors Nicola Kirkham and Garth Harkness, reached an agreement with E.ON on each lighting column or building-mounted street lamp.

Dobcross proved one of the most controversial zones, with E.ON promising to examine the possibility to renovate instead of replacing the distinctive bracket mounted lights.

Cllr Buckley, a former Oldham Council heritage champion, is circulating a letter to residents in the Square, Sugar Lane, Chancery Lane, Church Fields and Woods Lane explaining the proposals.

In the letter he says: “The new lights are better lighting standards, better fuel efficiency, have the ability to remotely monitor individual lamps and the ability to dim them.

“They have already been installed on roads leading into the centre of Dobcross but the conservation area presents issues in terms of maintaining its character while gaining the benefit of the new technology.”

The proposed concrete columns in Sugar Lane, the Square, Sandy Lane and Woods Lane will be replaced with new 5m metal columns painted black with standard lanterns.

Similar columns will replace lamps presently attached to telegraph poles on Woods Lane and elsewhere.

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Lights on Sugar Lane, Dobcross

Cllr Buckley added: “Decorative lamps on brackets in The Square, Chancery Lane and Churchfields will hopefully be renovated and fitted with the new technology.

“Should this prove impossible Victorian style lanterns will be fitted on the same brackets.

“No new lighting columns will be introduced into Churchfields and a new one that appeared will be removed.

“The Victorian-style cast iron column in Sugar Lane will be renovated and fitted with the new technology. The new column that has appeared is a mistake and will be removed.”

The village’s famed memorial with a lamp atop will remain untouched while the concrete column adjoining The Swan will be replaced with a black lamp standard of the same height.

Columns in Platt Lane and at the bottom of Sandy Lane will both be replaced with standard black 5m columns.

A map of all Saddleworth conservation areas is on display at the Civic Hall in Uppermill, with a post box for comments. Residents with queries should contact the three councillors.

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