Dorset

Weymouth seafront lighting plan moves forward

Weymouth seafront Image copyright Google
Image caption The project will see new seafront lighting along the esplanade

A new £200,000 scheme to light Weymouth seafront has taken a step forward, six years after green lasers were installed for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Architectural firm Tonkin Liu has been appointed to design the new project.

The green lasers have divided opinion ever since they were installed, with 70% of people calling them "poor" or "terrible" in a consultation.

Dorset Coast Connections (DCC) said the new scheme would reflect Weymouth's "heritage and culture".

The planned new seafront lights will run from the Pavilion Peninsula along the esplanade to the stone groyne at Greenhill.

The existing Light Veils green lasers, part of a £2.5m seafront regeneration programme, replaced traditional coloured fairy lights prior to the Dorset resort hosting the sailing events at the London 2012 Olympics.

Beams of light emitted from the columns are directed across the beach and into the sea.

'Colourful, traditional'

The future of the lasers has yet to be decided, but the consultation last year found 65% (438 people) did not like the lasers, while 43% (290 people) said they were ineffective.

It also found almost half favoured the return of fairy lights as "colourful, warm, welcoming and traditional".

However, existing street lighting poles are not able to take the weight of hanging cables with fairy lights.

Natalie Poulter, of DCC, said the new concept would be "reminiscent of what the community wanted, within the physical constraints" and would work either with or without the lasers in place.

Tonkin Liu is due to hold more consultation events with schools and the general public before the design in finalised.

The new scheme received its funding from the government's Coastal Communities Fund.

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