ST MARY’S LIGHTHOUSE: Requests must be tackled

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The proposed restoration and improvement of St Mary’s Lighthouse and former Keeper’s Cottage is welcomed by North Tyneside Borough Green Party and we support the Heritage Lottery Bid for £2.1million for the project.

However, we join other concerned groups and individuals to ask the following of North Tyneside Council and its developers:

That the design of the viewing platform be looked at again and modified to make it fit for purpose by either the most preferred option, enclosing the viewing platform so that wildlife is protected from noise and visual disturbance, ideally using intelligent glass (this would have the added benefit of saving energy by using passive solar heat), or at the very least, raising the glass balcony wall to minimise sound and visual disturbance.

That the council provides more detail as to how mitigation measures will be monitored in order to ensure that wildlife is not endangered and/or driven away from an already fragile environment.

That further details are given to how much extra height will be a result of proposed repairs and improvement to the causeway. This will increase footfall and will mean that the island will be accessible for longer periods, thereby reducing the time that wildlife can be undisturbed.

That the council recognises its responsibility to St Mary’s Island as a nature reserve and looks after it as such.

It is a valuable, irreplaceable part of our coastline, a landmark, an iconic image. We are in danger of losing its natural value in the desire to make more revenue.

If North Tyneside Council can answer these requests and any other issues satisfactorily, we believe that there will be far more support from concerned residents and groups, including North Tyneside Borough Green Party.

We urge anyone with objections or comments regarding this project to contact North Tyneside Planning Department. The deadline is September 29.

This can be done via email, the online council portal, or letter.

In any correspondence you must include your name and address, and include the application reference 17/01146/FUL.

Julia Erskine

North Tyneside Borough Green Party