Exmouth seafront: seeking a bright green future

THE seafront's increasingly depressed-looking coloured festoons were turned off for good yesterday - in preparation for new energy efficient lights that could be in place by the end of May.

THE seafront's increasingly depressed-looking coloured festoons were turned off for good yesterday - in preparation for new energy efficient lights that could be in place by the end of May.

Last week, town council finance chiefs rubberstamped �13,000 and are in talks with three local firms for new lights that could even have patterns on.

The move towards sustainable lighting was originally proposed by local environmental group Transition Town Exmouth (TTE).

They suggested that, instead of the old-style lights, which are expensive to run and require constant repairs, lower-powered LED lighting, possibly powered by small wind turbines or solar panels could be used.


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The town council took on responsibility for the lights after the district council, which is cutting costs to balance the books, pulled the funding.

Town councilors said that, while the lights were not an essential service, they were a major draw for visitors coming to Exmouth's seafront.

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Town clerk John Wokersien said: "Many are concerned with the current state of the lights.

"For this reason the town council has asked East Devon District Council to turn the lights off on March 31.

"The town council will then seek to have in place LED-based lights by the end of May, if possible.

"Once the LED lighting is in place, then sustainable power supplies will be looked at, be it small wind turbines or solar panels. Transition Town Exmouth will be included in this process to help us obtain the most environmentally effective solution."

Paul Strange, of TTE said: "Making them function in a sustainable and energy-efficient way could help the town re-focus on how it presents itself and to reposition itself within the brand of Tourism South West."

Exmouth councillor Ian Stewart said: "Those lights have been a landmark and feature of Exmouth for longer than many of us can remember and contribute to the character of our best visitor attraction - the beach.

"Residents can enjoy the feature knowing that it won't, quite literally, be costing the earth to run.

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