Meavy Christmas lights off in safety row

Stephen Earp
Image caption Pub landlord Stephen Earp said villagers were upset by the council's decision

A Devon village was forced to turn off its Christmas tree lights after just one night following a health and safety complaint.

The tree outside the Royal Oak pub at Meavy near Yelverton was donated by villagers and lit via cables suspended from a garage over the road.

Devon County Council said the cabling was "higgledy-piggledy" and not particularly safe.

Pub landlord Stephen Earp will now use a 12-volt battery to power the lights.

Devon County Council said it was contacted anonymously by a "concerned resident".

A spokeswoman said regulations for cabling suspended over the highway were intended to keep people safe.

"Any cable crossing a public highway must maintain an absolute minimum clear height above the carriageway, which must be just over 5m (16ft)," a council spokeswoman said.

"In this instance the height was not an issue, but it was felt the cabling was a bit higgledy-piggledy and not particularly safe."

Mr Earp said he did not believe the cabling was dangerous.

"A lot of people are upset about the lights being taken off. The Grinch has taken away Christmas.

"How sad in this season of goodwill."

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