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Wimborne school lights 'like Blackpool'
BLAZING lights left on throughout the night at a Wimborne school is turning a quiet corner of the town “into Blackpool”, residents say.
She has also condemned bright lighting at the QE leisure centre, run by East Dorset District Council, which is on the same site.
Despite the school’s green credentials, Mrs Raven-Vause said lights inside the building and in the car park are left on constantly, resulting in misery for those living nearby.
The former nurse said: “My home used to look out over open fields, and now it looks out over an eight-foot high metal fence, with blazing lights on constantly.”
The school, which opened in October 2011, has woodchip-burning boilers, solar and wind power, rain-water recycling, recycled building materials and low-energy use.
As it was being built, it was hailed as a national example of sustainable, environmentally-friendly design.
But Mrs Raven-Vause said the beaming lights have made the road look like seaside resort Blackpool.
“Even when school premises are not in use, the lights are on.”
“I have heard the electricity bills at £30,000 a quarter, and it’s all the more frustrating considering this is meant to be an eco-friendly school. It’s relentless.”
She added: “In all fairness, since I began to complain, the lights have been off more often.
“However, last night when I looked out, most of the lights in the school were on until about 8.30pm.
“It’s half-term – what possible reason is there for them to be on all the time? I’m a reasonable person, but it’s so frustrating, particularly when you hear about street lights being turned off in Colehill and Blandford. The waste on this site is huge.”
Head of leisure and open spaces for the Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership, Matti Raudsepp, said: “The council is keen to be a considerate neighbour and is fully investigating these concerns.
“We will be working with the school and local residents to try and reach an amicable solution.”
David Roe, buildings and design manager for the county council, said: “The development of the new Queen Elizabeth’s school and leisure centre has, as part of its planning permission, a lighting pattern for the campus.
“It details which lights are on and when during normal opening hours. This system is now operational.
“Some lights may need further adjustment to minimise glare if difficulties are identified.”