'Ugly' new LED street lamps are ruining the heritage of Milton Keynes say campaigners

A campaign group has slammed the “ugly” new street lamps they claim are ruining the unique heritage of Milton Keynes.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 1:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 1:28 pm
MK lamposts

The Milton Keynes Street Lighting Association was far from de-lighted to see the signature globe lanterns replaced with an angular modern design throughout city estates.

The change is part of the council’s move to save cash and switch to LED lighting.

But campaigners say the savings are at a cost to MK’s heritage and unique identity.

MK lamposts

Spokesman James Bywater said: “We are not opposed to converting to LED lighting to save energy and improve safety, but we are opposed to the wholesale destruction of Milton Keynes’ new town heritage.”

He added: “We have researched what’s available on the market and we know this upgrade can be done sympathetically with appropriate LED lantern and column designs. A little effort and attention to detail is all that’s needed.

“Yet MKC is pressing ahead with an estate-by-estate wholesale replacement with completely different, inappropriate designs.

“This is ruining the design of many estates with ugly new lighting, often far too bright, as well as the increasing appearance of silver/grey columns of totally different designs in the middle of carefully planned streets.”


The newly-formed street lighting association has launched a petition urging MK Council to think again. But so far their campaign has been met with silence from the council, they say.

The distinctive globe lights were planned and installed throughout MK by the former Milton Keynes Development Corporation in the 1970s.

Mr Bywater said: "The MKDC planned a complete system of unique, bespoke street furniture for Britain’s largest new town. For several decades this unique system was maintained and expanded, but since the late 2000s new installations have departed from the established style. Now, the introduction of new LED technology threatens to erase this key part of Milton Keynes’ distinctive heritage altogether, unless a change in policy can be achieved."

Milton Keynes council says the new LED lamps will save huge amounts of energy and each lamp should last for up to 22 years.

Traditional MK street light

It costs around £500 to upgrade an old lantern to LED with another £500 required to replace the column if needed.

You can sign the petition online here.

The new 'ugly' streetlights