Seaton night-time landing site for Devon Air Ambulance given the green light

PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:30 29 June 2018

The Devon Air Ambulance pictured at Exmouth Rugby Club. Ref exe air ambulance at rugby club-2. Picture: Kim Wyllie

The Devon Air Ambulance pictured at Exmouth Rugby Club. Ref exe air ambulance at rugby club-2. Picture: Kim Wyllie

Picture: Kim Wyllie

A cricket pitch at Seaton will act as a night landing site for Devon Air Ambulance Trust after plans to erect an emergency lighting column were given the go-ahead.

The Seaton base will be an addition to an existing network of community landing sites the air ambulance uses.

Already operational in Honiton and Colyton, the scheme allows the air ambulance to land at specific sites when it is dark.

An application to erect a ten metre high emergency lighting column with associated emergency lighting fittings was approved by planning officers at East Devon District Council last week.

The equipment will be installed on a pitch located in the south-eastern part of Seaton, which comprises part of the town’s cricket and tennis club.

Applicant Amy Tregellas, clerk at Seaton Town Council, said in her application: “To support night time operations, Devon Air Ambulance Trust is working with communities and organisations across Devon to develop a network of community landing sites that can be used during the hours of darkness, and a number of these sites have already been established.”

She added: “One of the most important components of these sites is floodlighting.

“As well as making landing and take-off easier and safer, this lighting importantly aids paramedics as they assess and loads a patient into the aircraft.”

The lighting column will be set back from the playing area at the club to ensure it will not create an ‘inconvenient obstacle’ within the cricket pitch.

The lighting will only be activated by a telephone call from the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services team, based at the 999-call centre in Exeter, prior to the aircraft arriving at the site.

Once the emergency is over, the lighting will be deactivated using another call.

The application said: “This approach is unique to Devon Air Ambulance and will enable the charity to extend its emergency service provision into the hours of darkness up until midnight every day, and later when the charity extends its operations to 2am to 3am in the future.

“The lighting will be used in emergencies and will be operational for the minimum time required to deliver this emergency service.”

Trenching works will take place at the club ahead of the lighting column’s installation.

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