Petition wins backing for better lighting in Hove gardens

Posted On 17 Dec 2010 at 10:19 am

A park in Hove looks likely to be given eco-friendly lights after a petition by residents won support from councillors.

Councillor Melanie Davis presented the petition to a meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council last night.

She also paid tribute to the organisers of the petition, the Friends of St Ann’s Well Gardens, which she chairs.

She handed in the 1,476 signatures at Brighton Town Hall calling for similar lights to the wildlife-friendly lights that have already been installed in Hove Park.

The Labour councillor for Goldsmid said: “This will make the park safer at night for everyone who uses it.”

Money for the lights will come from the developer of the 70 flats at the Southdown House site in Somerhill Avenue, where author and newspaper columnist Julie Burchill used to live.

The developer paid tens of thousands of pounds to the council as one of the conditions of receiving planning permission for the site next to the park.

The money – known as section 106 funding – has to be spent on projects in the locality.

£10,000 of the money was allocated to St Ann’s Well Gardens which this year lost its green flag status.

Councillor Davis, Labour’s spokesman on culture, recreation and tourism, said: “There is a need for the paths to be safer and better lit and for that lighting to be wildlife-friendly.”

Among the wildlife in the area are rare bats.

With the park having lost its green flag, she said: “There were worries that this money would quietly disappear into council coffers to make up for neglect earlier in the year.

“This money has to be spent on improvements not just maintenance.

“Now there has been a vote at council, and the cabinet member for the environment has had to acknowledge that the section 106 money could be spent on lighting in the gardens in the way local people have asked for.”

She said she was delighted that the petition had been successful.

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