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Dover District Council to reinstate more than 100 street lights

By Dean Kilpatrick, local democracy reporter

Dover District Council (DDC) is to reinstate more than 100 street lights which were removed due to safety concerns as part of a near £1 million project.

Some 175 street lights were pulled down by the authority last year after they were found to be suffering with electrical or structural problems, with only "approximately 60" of them being replaced.

DDC papers suggest "many members of the public" have previously complained about the situation, citing concerns about potential increases in anti-social behaviour.

More than 100 street lights are to be reinstated in Dover
More than 100 street lights are to be reinstated in Dover

Cabinet today agreed to restore the remaining street lights as part of a £450,000 investment, which will also see other deteriorating and out-of-date columns in the district replaced.

Cllr Trevor Bartlett (Con), portfolio holder for property management and environmental health, said: “People were very disappointed when unfortunately for reasons of safety they had to be removed.

“A lot of them are in rural areas where it’s very dangerous on the roads.

"Some of the rural areas have even got buses now, so there’s a lot more people walking.

“To get these lights back on is just a bonus and I really welcome this.”

Cllr Trevor Bartlett
Cllr Trevor Bartlett

Members also approved plans to spend £500,000 on converting all of DDC’s existing 2,642 street lights to energy-efficient LEDs, helping to save the authority £100,000 on electricity bills each year.

Officers say the vast majority of its street lights are between 15 and 35 years old, and it is now becoming “increasingly difficult” to buy spare parts.

Cllr Nicholas Kenton (Con), portfolio holder for environment, waste and health, outlined the move would also help reduce light pollution in the district.

He added: “You can see the old sodium lights from miles away, and they just glow up the sky.

“LEDs are very targeted light systems – they tend to face down, so when you do see them you hardly see any light pollution going up to the sky.”

The conversion work is set to be funded by an interest-free government loan, although the total sum will have to be paid back through electricity savings within five years.

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