RESIDENTS are furious after a seaside town’s historic lampposts were secretly sold to a scrapyard despite promises of restoration.

Back in 2014, Tendring Council removed the ornate features of several cast iron lampposts located along Clacton’s seafront.

The lamps, believed to have been first put up around 1912, were Clacton’s first electric streetlights and had been Grade II listed since the summer of 1986.

A fixture of the town for decades, the alterations were met with outrage from the public but the authority said the decision was taken as a result of safety concerns.

At the time, Tendring Council assured residents the decorative features would be stored carefully until they could decide how best to repair or restore them.

But at a meeting last September, council leader Neil Stock conceded the dismantled parts were not fit for repair or reuse having suffered severe corrosion.

He did, however, say it would be possible to take moulds of the remaining lamp heads for a potential restoration project but at a cost of £300,000 per column.

But images have now emerged from a scrapyard in the area showing the ornate features which the council cut down.

The fixtures are said to have been purchased by a Clacton resident after they were put up for sale. James Burfoot, from Clacton, had backed a petition to have the fixtures reinstated which had been signed by more than 300 people.

“I am very disappointed to hear that these have been sold and scrapped,” he said.

“I feel this has been done in a way where residents in the town have been kept in the dark about the town’s heritage not being restored but instead sold by its own council.

“I am disappointed in the council’s attitude towards our town’s heritage and lack of interest in any restoration.”

A council spokesman said: “Not only were the lights beyond repair, they had also been adapted, it is thought in the 1960s, to take modern light fittings, so were not, in any case, originals.

“Recognising the history behind them, Tendring Council has kept an original so that a moulding can be taken if and when funding can be secured to restore them.”