CASTLE Hill has long been a beacon for many but now it can boast its own bright, shining light.

After several requests from members of the public the council has agreed to replace the lantern light on top of Victoria Tower.

The news comes months after it was quoted £900 to change the bulb which had blown – prompting incredulous headlines in the national press.

Now rather than just replacing the bulb the council has now replaced the entire unit at a cost of £3,856.

Clr Peter McBride, cabinet member for investment and regeneration, said: “Many people contacted us to ask what had happened to the tower light so the decision was taken to replace it.

“The new light is more energy efficient than its predecessor and only uses the equivalent of a 40 watt bulb.

“It is expected to have a life between 15 to 20 years.”

The aircraft warning light is red and made of die cast aluminium with a powder coated finish, lightweight, waterproof, shockproof and corrosion resistant with a polycarbonate dome.

An Oldham company called Delta Obstruction Lighting has fitted the light.

They say any structure that is 147ft or over needs a medium intensity aviation light which has been fitted to the tower which is just under 100ft.

However, it stands nearly 1,000 ft above sea level and has a very exposed aspect due to its prominence within flight paths to Leeds/Bradford airport and Manchester airport.

The council says the light will be on from dusk till dawn and is on a light sensor which is now easier to get at to maintain as it is fitted on the side of the turret.

The repair and fitting costs has been broken down as follows:

£3,656 for Delta Obstruction Lighting to fit the light with trained steeplejacks and equipment.

£200 for Building Services to prepare the building and replace existing badly corroded wiring.

Clr Andrew Cooper, who represents the Newsome ward, said: “Obviously I am pleased that it is more energy-efficient. The area is of great significance for Huddersfield people and I would have liked for there to have been some consultation with local ward councillors.”

But Clr James Blanchard, (Almondbury, Lib Dem), said: “To be honest it’s yet another case of Labour wasting money at a time when money is short.

“They are turning off 2,000 street lights – that’s one in 25 – between midnight and morning to save money.

“I would much rather have street lights for ordinary people to safely drive and have a slightly cheaper lantern at Castle Hill.”

The bulb in the old lantern, hit by lightning three times in recent years, had previously been changed by the council’s building services team.

The operation, which involved strapping ladders to the outside of the turret wall, had been ruled ‘unsafe’ by health and safety officials, who ordered that scaffolding was needed.

The original lantern was installed for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 but had suffered over the years due to weather conditions.

The original light was only planned to be in place for a year but it was left in place due to public demand.

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