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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 08:21 GMT
City's Laser Gateway plans dimmed
The lasers would be fired in north-south, east-west directions
A 250,000 scheme to light up the skies above a Hampshire city with lasers has stalled after a series of protests.

The Southampton Laser Gateway, featuring four lasers fired at night from the city centre clock tower, was expected to be unveiled in April.

But at a meeting earlier this month, a decision was delayed until February.

Now Southampton City Council has said it will conduct trials - costing 5,000 - in the Autumn after it encountered environmental opposition.

The city council said the lasers, which would be 2.7mm in diameter and be visible for up to 15 miles (24km), would be in keeping with Southampton's maritime tradition, giving the visual effect of a lighthouse.

But Friends of the Earth, the New Forest National Park, astronomical societies, members of the public and some councillors objected to the idea.

Clock Tower
The lasers would be positioned at the top of Southampton's clock tower

Concerns included the environmental impact of the proposed beams, their effect on wildlife, the potential risk to air and road traffic and light pollution.

However, the council said it had received support from the city's business community.

Councillor Adrian Vinson, leader of the city council, said: "These trials will enable us to fully assess all aspects of the laser gateway, in action rather than just on paper, before making a final decision for the long term."

Decision due on 'laser gateway'
08 Jan 07 |  Hampshire
Grant to light up city at night
20 Dec 06 |  Hampshire

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