A COUNCIL has been accused of showing no concern towards climate change by having lights "blazing" at one of its buildings at night.

The Devonshire Quarter contains a number of Eastbourne’s cultural attractions, including the Congress Theatre and international tennis at Devonshire Park, where the Eastbourne International is being held this week.

The set of buildings in College Road have been pictured with all the lights on overnight by one concerned man.

Alex Moore was walking home from a night shift and said he has noticed lights on at the building over the years - but on Wednesday, June 22, he felt they were even worse.

The Argus: The Devonshire Quarter at 12.30am on Wednesday, June 22The Devonshire Quarter at 12.30am on Wednesday, June 22

The 49-year-old told The Argus: “The Congress Theatre and welcome building as you can see in the picture - they’re not just lit up, they’re blazing.

“I can understand a few spot lamps to light it up at night, all the monitors are on. I did not see a soul in the building.

“I have lived here around four years and the lighting has always been on, not to that extent though.

“Every time I walk past, the lights are on and there is nobody home. We’re living in a energy use aware world, not just because of high energy prices but also because of carbon footprint.

The Argus: Plans for the Devonshire Quarter in 2015Plans for the Devonshire Quarter in 2015

“It seems to me that someone has very seriously dropped the ball somewhere.”

In July 2019, Eastbourne Borough Council declared a climate emergency and pledged to reduce carbon emission to net zero by 2030.

Part of the council’s “decarbonising” activities that it listed in an article include tree planting, buying renewable energy and reducing its own energy consumption.

The council also became the first town in the UK to declare a cost of living crisis.

Eastbourne Borough Council said the building uses a motion sensor lighting system with low cost LED’s following the transformation of Devonshire Quarter.

A spokeswoman said: “This is particularly useful in reducing our carbon footprint and energy costs as it ensures lighting is only switched on while rooms are in use, and normally these lights would remain off overnight. 

The Argus: The council said the building is being used very late into the night due to the tennis tournament. Pictured, Serena WilliamsThe council said the building is being used very late into the night due to the tennis tournament. Pictured, Serena Williams

“Currently while the building is being used for players, media, officials and other guests at the Rothesay International tennis tournament, the building is in use until very late in the evening, with cleaning teams and a security team roaming the building overnight.

“This means the lighting system is activated at times throughout the night and is why residents may be seeing what appears to be unusual out of hours lighting. 

“However please rest assured, this is just our team of workers and security, ensuring the facilities provide a first class experience for our guests from all over the world.”

Alex added: “Given their boasts about their green credentials, I find their response a bit reaching.

The Argus: Harriet Dart on Wednesday at the tournamentHarriet Dart on Wednesday at the tournament

“In this day and age when climate change is such a raw issue, I think it’s a daft thing to do in a borough that is largely Liberal Democrat who tend to fly the flag for green issues.

“I find the reasoning around the tennis a far reach, maybe they have a cat that is activating the lights because I didn’t see anyone.

“I think their response is a bit blasé. Most of us go round the house, switch most of our lights off. Whether you’re doing it to save money, or for environmental reasons, it’s a moral imperative.”

"Maybe they're trying to make a statement."