Trinity House mulls closure of six lighthouses around UK

Lighthouses around the coast of the UK, including at Beachy Head, could be switched off, a review by Trinity House has revealed. The organisation in charge of England’s coastal navigation aids is considering switching off the light and fog horn at Beachy Head, claiming that modern navigation equipment has made the lighthouse less important for negotiating the coast. It hopes to increase the range of nearby lighthouses to compensate.

But Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Nigel Waterson says the light should stay because smaller vessels rely on it. The 43m (141ft) tower was brought into service in 1902, although there has been a light at Beachy Head from as long ago as 1670.

Under the proposals, the range of the Royal Sovereign lighthouse would be increased.

Trinity House is asking for people to comment on the plan.

Mr Waterson said: “I naturally appreciate that merchant shipping now relies on satellite navigation, although this is not always foolproof.

But thousands of recreational sailors still rely on the light at Beachy Head. I believe switching off the light would be a risky move, and I hope local sea-goers will express their concerns as part of the consultation.”

The light, which currently has a range of 20 nautical miles, has been powered by electricity since 1920.

Anyone with comments or suggestions about the review has until Friday 29 January to submit them to Trinity House.You can download the proposal and contact details on the Trinity House website

Other proposals include:

Orfordness Lighthouse: discontinue all Aids to Navigation at this station in conjunction with increasing the range of the light at Southwold lighthouse to 24nm.

Beachy Head Lighthouse: discontinue all Aids to Navigation at this station in conjunction with increasing the range of the light at Royal Sovereign lighthouse to 24nm.

Hartland Point Lighthouse: discontinue all Aids to Navigation at this station, in conjunction with increasing the range at Trevose Head Lighthouse to 24nm & Lundy South Lighthouse to 18nm and establishing a lighted buoy off Hartland Point.

Blacknore Lighthouse: no ongoing requirement for a long range (17Nm) light at this station.

Skokholm Lighthouse: discontinue all Aids to Navigation at this station, in conjunction with establishing a new minor light with am 8nm range

Maryport Lighthouse: enter negotiations to hand over station to Local Lighthouse Authority