SURVEYS are being carried out at a pair of iconic lighthouses in a bid to restore the rundown landmarks.

Harwich councillor Garry Calver called for action at the dilapidated disused lighthouses in Dovercourt last month after it was revealed Clacton’s Venetian bridge was getting a £335,000 overhaul.

At a full meeting of Tendring Council, he said the scheduled ancient monuments are an iconic focal point for visitors to Harwich and Dovercourt and needed to be restored to their former glory.

Mr Calver said: “Allowing the lighthouses to become neglected gives a negative image of our Blue Flag beach which Dovercourt Bay does not deserve.”

The cast-iron lighthouses were built in 1863 and were used until 1917 to guide ships around Landguard Point.

In the 1980s the community raised £20,000 to restore them.

But now they sit slowly rusting away on Dovercourt’s Blue Flag beach.

Mr Calver said he was pleased to see a timescale put on the work.

He said: “Whilst the statement has turned out to be different to what was suggested at the council meeting I’m happy that we now have a timescale for the completion of the survey.

“A lot of local residents have spoken to me about their concerns over the future if the lighthouses and I’m sure everyone will be keen to learn what is intended once the surveys are completed.”

It had been hoped the surveys would be completed by the end of this year but unforeseen delays have set the end date back.

Mr Calver said he was originally told the surveys would be completed by the end of 2017 but has since been told there have been delays as prior to work being carried out, which included clearing the lighthouses of pigeons which had roosted inside.

So far an up to date asbestos survey has been carried out and new locks were put on after it was found the old ones no longer worked.

Results of the survey are expected to be available by April next year.