Row over a Forth lighthouse '˜too far' from the bridge

A historic mini lighthouse displaced by the Queensferry Crossing is at the centre of a storm over plans to re-site it to overlook the new bridge.

Saturday, 18th March 2017, 5:11 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:22 am
The Beamer Rock lighthouse beneath the Forth Road Bridge before its removal. Picture: Jane Barlow

Plans for the former Beamer Rock lighthouse – which stood on a small rocky hazard in the Firth of Forth and protected mariners for nearly two centuries – to become a new Fife gateway marker above the A90 have been opposed by those who want it to be closer to the water.

North Queensferry Heritage Trust, backed by Fife Council, wants the 20ft tower positioned on a cutting above the A90 dual carriageway, just north of the Forth Road Bridge. It is planned to be completed to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War in November 1918, along with information about local maritime history. The floodlit structure would be visible to traffic on the two road bridges, and rail passengers crossing the Forth Bridge.

However, North Queensferry Community Council opposes the scheme because it said locals wanted the lighthouse placed nearer to the estuary.

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Fife Council has warned that lack of support from the community council would make it harder to win funding for the project, which could cost up to £100,000.

Community council treasurer Christina McKenzie said it had surveyed villagers before reaching its decision.

“Why put it at the top of a hill when it’s a lighthouse? People thought it should be nearer the water,” she said.

But heritage trust chairman James Lawson said: “The decision taken by the community council was extremely disappointing, largely based on misunderstandings arising from a very restricted survey they organised. The trust now understands a further community consultation will be launched to clear up the misunderstandings and to show the national importance and educational value of the project to visitors and local residents.”

The lighthouse has guided seafarers through the narrow Queensferry passage, including to the former Rosyth naval base, since being built by the Stevensons in 1846. It was dismantled in 2011 to make way for the Queensferry Crossing’s central tower and put in storage. The following year, a battle broke out between North and South Queensferry over which side of the Forth it should be located .