Make Henley Shine Submits Full Planning Application for Sustainable Bridge Lights

The Make Henley Shine group has today submitted two full planning applications to sustainably light up Henley Bridge to South Oxfordshire District Council and Wokingham Borough Councils.  Both local authorities are jointly responsible for planning permission for the bridge.

After seeking pre-planning advice and submitting survey and reports recommended by both Councils, the local team behind the project hope that the application will be given the green light to go ahead after nearly three years working on the project.

The project has been backed by local companies and organisations; Leander Club, Phyllis Court Club, Blandy & Blandy and European Consumer Claims so far to allow it to fund the necessary surveys and reports. Also, further organisations and individuals have pledged funds once the planning application has been approved.

Local architect and recently elected Henley Town Councillor, Gavin Jackson said, “We felt it imperative to bring together the best team possible and follow all due process as a mark of respect for the bridge. Our heritage, environmental and lighting consultants brought their vast experience with historic monuments, ecology and river bridges to the Pre-Application process and now to the full application stage. Pending planning approval, Signify, the world leader in connected lighting will supply the lights then they will be carefully installed by an expert team used to working on historic UK monuments. We are excited to showcase the bridge to its rightful place at the centre of Henley’s townscape.”

Chair of the Make Henley Shine project team, Daniel Bausor added, “We’re delighted to be finally submitting the Full Planning application.  We have very kindly been pledged enough money to allow us to purchase the lights once we get planning approval and then we’ll need to crowdfund for the installation and maintenance.  This is an exciting project literally to make Henley shine – we need people to go on to both Councils’ planning portals and write in support of the application.”

You can support the applications by clicking on the links below:

For anyone wishing to make a donation to this 10 year capital project to Make Henley Shine, please email:


  1. Judy Dinsdale says:

    I wholeheartedly support this application. Can’t wait to see the bridge lit up again. – for Christmas would be brilliant (literally).

  2. Sally Rankin says:

    It is very disappointing that, in this day and age, people are still wanting to do things like put lights on bridges. Given the threats we face due to climate change, everyone should be looking to reduce their electricity use wherever they can. I know the people who are behind the project say they will be using a low energy option but they will still be using electricity unnecessarily. And what about all the electricity (and other resources) used to make all the materials to be used?

    Lights on the bridge will also be more light pollution for Henley with the subsequent effects on wildlife. says ‘Scientific evidence suggests that artificial light at night has negative and deadly effects on many creatures, including amphibians, birds, mammals, insects, and plants.’ Also, according to, the recently published fourth State of Nature (SON) Report ‘lays bare the stark fact that nature is still seriously declining across the UK, a country that is already one of the most nature-depleted in the world. The data show that since 1970 UK species have declined by about 19% on average, and nearly 1 in 6 species (16.1%) are now threatened with extinction.’ With wildlife in Britain in such serious trouble already we should not be engaging in unnecessary detrimental activities like putting lights on bridges. If anything, the town should be working on reducing light pollution throughout the town.

    The advice on outdoor lighting in ‘Landscape_and_urban_design_for_bats_and_biodiversityweb.pdf, a publication from the Bat Conservation Trust, should be followed at all times. In the section on the management and enhancement of river bank habitats they say ‘Restrict or remove artificial lighting from river footpaths as many bat species associated with water, such as Daubenton’s bat, avoid light.’ In the section on riparian corridors, they say ‘Water networks in the form of rivers, streams, canals and irrigation ditches are often used by bats as navigation features in the environment. Care should be taken not to artificially light these features. Where lighting is necessary for operational reasons the lighting should only be used when needed.’


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