Friends of the Earth voice plan concerns

An artist impression of how St Mary's Lighthouse could look if funding proposals are approved.
An artist impression of how St Mary's Lighthouse could look if funding proposals are approved.

North Tyneside Friends of the Earth has given its full support to St Mary’s Seal Watch in its fight to change building proposals at St Mary’s Island.

The seals group warns that if changes are not made, the work could end up chasing wildlife – seals and birds – off St Mary’s altogether.

Its secretary Sally Bennett told a Friends of the Earth meeting that although, overall, the group supported the work on the lighthouse buildings, it was very worried about some of the detail, in particular the glass frontage of the planned new viewing platforms.

She said the island was the jewel in the crown of an extensive nature reserve, within a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and wildlife must be put first.

The proposals for the lighthouse include rebuilding the original light, new extensions to provide more educational and learning facilities, and creating an exhibition area.