Eynesbury residents claim victory in street lamp fight
14:22 18 March 2014
Eynesbury residents have claimed victory in their fight to have ‘reasonably sized’ street lamps installed.
Contractors working on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council had started to install in St Mary’s Street new lights that were double the size of the lamps being replaced – based on claimed levels of traffic in the area.
But the super-sized street lighting will be torn out and smaller poles installed after residents and councillors Karl Wainwright and Steve Van De Kerkhove campaigned for Balfour Beatty to rethink the scheme.
The firm has agreed to reduce the height of the poles – from eight metres to six metres.
In Berkley Street the height of all the fittings – from the junction of Berkley Street with St Mary’s Street and Montagu Street until the last light before Eynesbury Green – will be reduced from 10 metres to eight metres.
Although they will be taller than those in St Mary’s Street, Cllr Wainwright explained that if the poles had been reduced to six metres, regulations would have required another six more fittings along the road.
However, he said that they had lost the fight to keep heritage fittings in Luke Street.
“Balfour Beatty were very good in terms of working with us,” he said.
“The big issue was 10-metre towering lights in a conservation area which wasn’t acceptable – they looked so out of place.”
Balfour Beatty, he added, would reschedule the work as soon as possible, but that it could take as much as 10 weeks.
Cllr Van de Kerkhove said: “This is a great example of how councillors and residents can work together and achieve a result.
“I’m very pleased about that. I think we can claim a victory.”
He added: “I’m a little disappointed that the town council was not a little more proactive with lighting on St Mary’s Street.
“The residents would still like to see something historic that really blends in with the street rather than six-metre poles.”
Simon Harper, 50, a construction consultant of Berkley Street, told The Hunts Post: “I am grateful to Balfour Beatty for responding to our concerns and for working to find a resolution within the street lighting design criteria set them by the county council. I still believe there are issues that need to be addressed by the county which has set up, and is responsible for, managing the street lighting contract.
“We hope that the county will look into how it carries out these works in the future.”
Keeley Russell, head of client liaison at Balfour Beatty, said: “Together with Cambridgeshire County Council we have agreed to vary the design of lighting in these areas to meet the requests of residents and the town council.
“We always design replacement street lighting in the most efficient and effective way possible.
“These changes ensure that the safety of motorists, cyclist and pedestrians is maintained while taking on board the considerations of communities to design new lightings schemes in keeping with the local environment.”