Hartland lighthouse faces closure
A HISTORIC lighthouse which has been guiding vessels along the North Devon coast since the 1800s is facing closure.
General Lighthouse Authority, Trinity House, is looking to discontinue the Hartland Point Lighthouse Station.
Hartland councillor, Adam Symons, has pledged to resist the closure of what he believes is one of North Devon's most famous landmarks and is urging people to voice their concerns.
Hartland Point Lighthouse faces the Atlantic Ocean and guides vessels of all types approaching the Bristol Channel.
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It was built by Trinity House in 1874 under the direction of Sir James Douglass.
Trinity House said every five years the GLAs conduct a full review of all their Aids to Navigation (AtoN) to ensure they are providing the right level of navigation safety around the coast, and taking advantage of technical improvements.
It has carried out a major review of its AtoN around the coasts of England, Wales and the Channel Islands.
It said that, due to the greater use and reliance on new navigational technology such as Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) including GPS, landfall and passing lights are now less important and their primary function is for coastal navigation, confirmation of position and spatial awareness.
Trinity House said, therefore, the traditional AtoN can now be regarded as a secondary but complementary system to the primary navigation system of GNSS.
Hartland is one of six lighthouses in line for "significant changes".
The review proposes to discontinue all Aids to Navigation at Hartland, in conjunction with increasing the range at Trevose Head Lighthouse to 24nm and Lundy South Lighthouse to 18nm and establishing a lighted buoy off Hartland Point.
Cllr Symons said: "Hartland Point Lighthouse is perhaps one of the best known landmarks in North Devon.
"Trinity House has stated that new shipping navigational devices have made it obsolete. However, I believe it plays a vital role in keeping shipping safe on this treacherous stretch of coastline.
"I am urging the public to write in to express their concerns about the loss of Hartland Point Lighthouse. This closure will be resisted.
"At over 18 metres in height, and visible from Wales, it is part of our rich maritime heritage, and has saved countless lives over the years."
The Trinity House consultation closes on January 29.