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Historic Lamppost

Energy Efficient Streetlights



HCS responds to a NYC proposal to improve the energy efficiency of street lighting by ensuring that all columns are fitted with LED lanterns.

The following is the letter sent to NYC and their reply.

22nd September 2023
Barrie Mason,
Assistant Director,
Highways & Transportation,
County Hall,

Dear Mr. Mason,
Energy Efficient Streetlights

We hear that there are proposals to improve the energy efficiency of street lighting by ensuring that all columns are fitted with LED lanterns. This is very desirable as a cost saving measure and as a move to help slow climate change. The scheme would include replacement of concrete columns, obsolete brackets and NonLED lanterns.

As you would realise, the Civic Society is mainly concerned about the relatively few historic lighting columns and their lanterns that remain in Harrogate. We would be very pleased if they can be fitted with LED bulbs, but of course the columns should retain their existing lanterns if original, or if they are of a suitable historic design. Should either of these descriptions not apply, then the lanterns should be replaced with examples of authentic Victorian design.

In Harrogate town, there are 23 historic street lighting columns that are Listed.
Of the short 1848 pattern columns, 15 are Listed in the following locations.
6 on Montpelier Hill
3 at Crown Place
4 at Promenade Square
2 on Swan Road

Of the Tall 1899 pattern columns, 8 are Listed which we believe are all that remain and they
are located thus –
3 on the Crown roundabout (or Royal Parade roundabout)
2 on Trinity Road
1 on Station Parade
1 on Park Parade

In addition to the listed examples, there are a number of other short 1848 pattern columns in use. We see several on Cambridge Street, on the ‘cross path’ in Valley Gardens (from Valley Drive to Cornwall Road) and in the centre of Crescent Gardens around the Pavilion. Also on Crescent Gardens there is one at the steps near the side of the Mercer Gallery. There may be others of course.

We believe that some of these historic columns have alternative means of isolation from the electricity supply, rather than that first adopted when the columns were converted from gas, with the cut-out mounted at the top of the column. These methods may be short separate columns to contain a cut-out or that historic columns are linked to modern columns and so have a joint cut-out.

We hope therefore that these methods would mean that there would be no problem maintaining or renewing or providing suitable historic pattern lanterns. A you will understand, the Harrogate conservation area is quite extensive and its qualities should be maintained.

Regarding maintenance of our historic lighting columns, there is a listed example on Montpelier Hill that is lacking a lantern. This has been the case for some time. In fact, we emailed Area 6 Highways in July 2018 (!) but received no reply except an automatic acknowledgement. The fact that there is now a fund dedicated to upgrading street lighting, means it could be an ideal opportunity to repair this one or indeed any that fall short of keeping our conservation area in the condition that is deserves, along with reducing energy
costs and carbon emissions.

Yours sincerely,
Henry Pankhurst
On behalf of Harrogate Civic Society

The response from NYC:

Our ref: M39AR004.BM
Contact: Barrie Mason
Date: 28 September 2023

Dear Mr Pankhurst

I refer to your email dated 22 September 2023 regarding the Council’s proposals for LED installation in the coming years. North Yorkshire Council is aware of the listed status of many lighting columns in Harrogate and can confirm that these, together with other decorative streetlights in the area, will retain their existing character during the LED process.

There are several methods by which the existing decorative lanterns can be converted to LED. These include simply replacing the existing high pressure sodium lamp with a new LED lamp, retro fitting a new gear tray within the lantern or as a last resort, replacing the entire lantern with a similar heritage style LED lantern. The lighting columns themselves will remain unchanged during this process.

My street lighting colleagues will contact the Civic Society prior to any work on the heritage lighting in
Harrogate/Knaresborough. Full details of the proposals will be provided along with images of any replacement lanterns.

In the case of Montpellier Hill, the lantern was removed following an accident where the column was struck by a vehicle. This lighting column was realigned and its foundation stabilised however, the replacement lantern was missed. The new lantern will be installed within the next four weeks following which the remaining post mounted lanterns on Montpellier Hill will be replaced with their LED equivalent.

We intend to use a cast frog to support the lantern rather than the previous four-armed frog as this offers a stronger support and minimises the risk of the lantern leaning to one side in the future.

The lanterns that we currently hold in stock have a colour temperature of 3000k which offers a midrange white light therefore the new fitting will appear noticeably different from the existing high-pressure sodium (SON) lamps when lit. When the Council returns to upgrade the remaining heritage lights on Montpellier Hill, we will use new 2200k lanterns which are more closely aligned with SON light output. At that time we will also replace the 3000k light.

I trust the above answers your query, should you have further questions relating to the LED proposals or
heritage lighting in Harrogate, please do not hesitate to contact the Council’s Road Lighting Team at

Kind regards
Assistant Director - Highways and Transportation, Parking Services, Street Scene, Parks and Ground

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