Stone community leaders are hoping to get the green light for a new Christmas lights display to brighten up a town shopping area this year.

Plans for two “curtains” of LED festive lights have been submitted to Stafford Borough Council by Stone Town Council to decorate the row of shops at Eccleshall Road, in the Walton are of Stone.

Town councillors now have to wait for a public consultation to end on Friday, November 5, and a decision to be made by the borough council before they can light up Walton this Christmas as planned.

If the plans are approved two eight-metre tall poles will be installed at the entrance to the car park and the lights will be strung from the poles to the shops.

A lighting assessment submitted as part of the application said: “The columns will be erected around the end of October each year and removed in mid-January. They will therefore be in place for a period of around 10 to 12 weeks each year.

“During that time, Christmas lights will normally be illuminated from the third week in November until the first week in January. The lights would normally be lit from around 3pm until around 12am, though this can sometimes vary according to local demand.”

Speaking at the meeting Councillor Jill Hood, chairman of the Tourism and Town Promotion Committee, said: “We have waited a long time for this. Walton is going to have a great lights display this year – I have every confidence in it.”

A resident living opposite the proposed display has already welcomed the plans. They said “We have no objection to the proposal and wish the application well in its progress to becoming a reality to brighten up this winter.”

Councillors were also given an update on plans for the annual town centre lights switch-on.

In September it was proposed to hold a virtual switch on for the second year running instead of a physical event, but following demand from residents and traders the town council is now preparing to bring back the festivities to the High Street on Thursday, November 25.

So far three schools have signed up to sing Christmas songs on the night, the meeting was told. But if they are unable to attend another entertainer will be on hand to provide seasonal music.

A video of the lights switch on will also be produced so those unable to make it to the town centre in person can view the event virtually again this year.

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