Decision to change historic street lights in Worthing reversed

Residents next to one of the lights they wanted to be saved
Residents next to one of the lights they wanted to be saved

Residents in a conservation area in Worthing are celebrating after a decision to replace Victorian street lights with modern ones was reversed.

Last Thursday, residents in Western Row were told a street light and lamp-post were to be replaced with modern lighting as part of a scheme being implemented by West Sussex County Council .

The news came as a shock to resident Philippa Denyer because Western Row is protected as a conservation area.

She said: “It’s part of our heritage and a lot of it is being lost in Worthing.

“Look at the children – they study Victorian history in school and they need to be able to see these things.

“Street furniture is as important as buildings.

“Emmeline Pankhurst, a Suffragette, lived near Farncombe Road and there was a lovely lamp-post there people wanted to take down, so she chained herself to it and it stayed.”

As part of living in Western Row, residents are expected to keep their homes in the style of the period, which means there are restrictions to the amendments they can make, such as only being able to use wooden window frames.

That is why Philippa and other residents were surprised at the decision to install the new modern-looking lights.

However, the decision to replace the lighting was repealed at the last moment after Philippa told council officers she had contacted the Herald.

Instead, the street light will no longer be changed, while the lamp-post will be replaced by a replica, subject to residents being consulted on the plans.

Philippa added: “This is a great victory for us.

“I don’t think we would have got a result in time if I hadn’t have contacted the Herald.”

The decision to replace the lamp-post with one in a traditional style was partly the result of Heene ward councillor Paul High.