Hadleigh: Jubilee beacon risk

A ROW has broken out over the position of a beacon commissioned by Hadleigh Town Council to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The wrought iron piece, which was made by a local craftsman and features a crown and the Olympic rings, was placed on Beaumont Primary School playing field after much debate about a suitable location.

The beacon has only been lit once at the end of a weekend of jubilee celebrations in June, but now Aldham Road resident Bob Southgate, who lives behind the playing field, has complained to the council about the risk to his home, should the beacon be lit again.

He said: “This beacon is right in front of my house about 20 yards from my bedroom window and I am concerned that with the prevailing winds from Kersey blowing straight in our direction, this could be potentially very dangerous.”

At a meeting last week, Mr Southgate asked the council to consider moving the beacon to a new home. But councillor Jan Byrne, who is also chair of the Hadleigh Society, said: “We chose the location for the beacon after careful consideration because it is the only piece of high ground that can be seen from all directions.

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“The decision to put it there was because the play area is fenced off and locked at night which would prevent anyone getting to it. We were unable to plonk it right in the middle of the school playing field for obvious reasons, but there is still a hedge and a road between Mr Southgate’s house and the beacon.”

Although councillor Richard Whiting said it was “imperative” to move the beacon if it was causing distress, his colleague Penny Cook added: “It was extremely difficult to lift it into place and the cost of moving it – in the unlikely event that we found a suitable alternative location – would be prohibitive. As we are unlikely to light it for at least another 10 years, I think there is little point in going to the expense of moving it.”

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