St Mary's Lighthouse new £2m revamp plans unveiled

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Artist's impression of the revamped Grade 11-listed lighthouseImage source, North Tyneside Council
Image caption,
The new plans include refurbishment of the lighthouse and former keeper's cottages

New plans for the £2.1m refurbishment of a lighthouse on the north-east of England coast have been unveiled.

North Tyneside Council wants to repair the Grade II-listed St Mary's Lighthouse and keeper's cottages.

Its original proposals were rejected by the authority's planning committee, which had environmental concerns.

Elected mayor Norma Redfearn said the lighthouse island was "an iconic, precious natural habitat that has been loved for generations".

"We are committed to our responsibility to the island and preserving its natural habitat," she said

"It is vital that we balance this against the need to make improvements and carry out repairs."

Image source, North Tyneside Council
Image caption,
The council wants to install new lifts and improve facilities

The planning committee had accepted objectors concerns that open topped viewing platforms could result in disturbance to seals and other wildlife.

These, and a glass-covered viewing area, have been removed from revised designs.

New plans include repairing the causeway and rebuilding the original optic, which projects the light out to see.

The council also wants to improve educational facilities and install new lifts.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has already given £164,300 to fund the scheme's development.

A bid for the remaining money has been put back until the revised planning application has been approved.

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