Southampton laser startles the greens

Plans to beam a 15-mile laser from Southampton as part of a 'rebranding exercise' are hanging in the balance after protests from green groups.

The beams were to project along the points of the compass serving as a 'welcome focus point' for people approaching the city by land, air or sea.

However, council PROs were left red faced last week when the announcement of their plans coincided with a warning from the Campaign to Protect Rural England that light pollution is becoming so bad that people can no longer see certain stars.

The plans are now on hold, pending trials.

'This was the first of many projects designed to reinvent the gateway to the city,' says a council spokeswoman.

The beam was to be switched on in April - the 95th anniversary of the loss of the Titanic.

But the council's plans now look likely to, er, sink.

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