VICTORIAN lampposts across Penarth are being replaced with modern LED lighting.

Around 320 people have already signed a petition to preserve the cast-iron lampposts, arguing they are an iconic part of Penarth’s heritage.

Several lampposts have already been removed on Cwrt-y-Vil Road, with several residents saying they had no prior notice. One post has a hand-made notice fixed, reading “Do not remove”.

The lampposts were first placed as traditional Victorian gas lights, and later later fitted with modern electric lights.

Gemma Crutchley, the founder of the petition, said: “This will mean the loss of valuable historic character from the streetscape in Penarth. One of the things that makes our town so great is its historic character and the Victorian street lights are a valuable contribution to this!

“There are workmen installing the new lights on the poles today and they said that the old ones are going next week,” she added.

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesman said: “The council is replacing a number of lighting columns in various areas of Penarth. There are electrical and structural safety issues with some of the older Victorian lampposts and it would not be practicable or cost-effective to attempt repairs. Others will be converted to fit LED lights in line with the Council’s energy reduction strategy.

“This is better for the environment as LED lights produce less CO2, while they are also more economical to operate.

“It is difficult if not impossible to find lanterns and other parts for the old Victorian lamp posts generally found within the Penarth area. This means that the retention and refurbishment of the existing street lights is generally not an option. The use of standardised pastiche lighting columns is not considered acceptable for environmental reasons and would come at a high cost outside the available budgets for maintenance works.”

Ms Crutchley described the council’s statement as “complete rubbish”. She said: “It’s just a bit more complicated. They’ve done it in other councils.”