Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 27°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Orford: Renewed energy for scheme to safeguard historic lighthouse

10:20 15 March 2014

Aerial photo of Orfordness lighthouse by Mike Page

Aerial photo of Orfordness lighthouse by Mike Page

Archant

The National Trust has denied claims it obstructed attempts to prolong the life of a Suffolk landmark and rescue artefacts within.

shares

Orfordness lighthouse owner, Nicholas Gold, insists his plan to bolster the building with sandbags and allow its contents to be preserved was obstructed by the National Trust on grounds that it would be unsuccessful or harm habitat, but that the charity had withdrawn opposition.

Temporary defences are now in place at the beachhead - which was hit by recent storms - and Mr Gold believes a 140ft roll of bags filled with shingle and gravel can further delay the demise of the lighthouse.

The building, which stands on the National Trust-owned Orford Ness was decommissioned in June last year to allow it to fall into the sea.

Mr Gold, who bought the landmark from Trinity House for £2,000 in September, wanted more time for it to be dismantled following removal of optics and other items of historical significance. He set up the Orfordness Lighthouse Company (OLC) in September to represent local interest in the future of the listed landmark. He said: “The National Trust had been trying to obstruct our attempt to stabilise the beach edge in order for the fixtures and fittings to be removed. They said it would have a massive impact on the coastline, but their forecasts were based on comparisons to enormous sea defences with great big groynes and boulders.

“The storms did enormous damage and we lost 10 metres because of obstruction by the National Trust.”

Ben Cowell, the National Trust’s regional director, said it did not oppose the defences now in place and that it had been assured of their removal if erosion is seen to have accelerated elsewhere. He added: “The National Trust does not, and has never, held the authority for granting or denying any application to defend the coastline in front of the lighthouse. We have never owned the lighthouse, which was sold to the OLC in September 2013. There was nothing to stop the OLC from submitting an application to defend the lighthouse in September, but that did not happen until February.”

Mr Cowell said the trust was working with previous owners Trinity House on plans to remove artefacts from the lighthouse, and that it was keen to continue working with Mr Gold, who is planning to open the site to visitors from April. He hopes some artefacts will be donated to the local museum, with the main optic held temporarily by Trinity House.

“We now have a bit of time to work on how to get the key features out. In the meantime, we want to allow people to visit the building.”

shares

0 comments

The incident happened on the A12

A lane on the A12 at the Foxhall roundabout near Martlesham was blocked following a three-vehicle crash.

Bolts of lightning during the storms above Ipswich in the early hours of Saturday, pictured by Tina Boniface

Fierce lightning storms swept over Suffolk and Essex last night.

John McGuire

A 25-year-old man who went missing from a mental health unit in Colchester has been found safe and well.

A broken down train has blocked the Marks Tey to Sudbury route

A broken down train has forced services between Sudbury and Marks Tey to be suspended – with delays expected for the rest of the day.

Mounted police officers patrol on the beach of  Sousse, Tunisia. Inset image of Stuart Cullen.

The body of Suffolk man Stuart Cullen, one of 38 people killed in the Tunisian terror attack, is being returned to Britain today.

National Lottery winners pictured helping out on a build at Black Notley Community Association in Braintree, Essex. Pictured are the team working hard in the sunshine to complete the job.

Lottery winners with a combined worth of £25million mucked in to help create a holiday haven in Black Notley.

Suffolk county councillor Lisa Chambers

More than 90% of parents in Suffolk have had their first-choice places accepted for their children starting school this September, it has been revealed.

Actor, Dudley Sutton, who plays William Makepeace in Emmerdale and was Tinker in Lovejoy, will be exhibiting his art work at the Aldeburgh Beach Lookout.

Perhaps best known for his long and distinguished acting career, Dudley Sutton harbours myriad other talents – some of which are displayed on the coast today.

The police helicopter was deployed to help the search.

Concern is growing for a man who is missing from the Cambian Fairview Hospital in Colchester.

There has been 64 serious motorcycle crashes in Essex

A major campaign is being launched to educate motorcyclists as the number of serious crashes involving riders on Essex roads continues to rise.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages