A GROUP from Hatherleigh has submitted a planning application to Torridge District Council for the installation of night landing lights at the town’s football ground.

The initiative began when Caroline Munn, a resident, saw other towns had recently procured permission to have these lights installed to enable to Devon Air Ambulance to land later than before — ensuring more lives can be saved.

Caroline took it upon herself to start fundraising and thanks to the help of others in the town the scheme is gaining momentum.

Thanks have been expressed to all those who have supported the venture so far and to the Hatherleigh town football club, who have kindly given permission for the pitch to be used as the landing site.

Caroline said: “Having a family member working for the emergency services I am well aware of the need to have a night landing site in Hatherleigh.

“I started looking at other towns who have successfully put this facility in for their communities and felt we could do the same. I had a conversation one day with a friend and council member and the seed was sown.

“I have taken the role of fundraising to make this happen. I want to get the community behind this project and with the help of existing groups we have had many successful events so far.”

She added: “Although our emergency services are amazing, we live in a remote area and at present if you fall ill in the hours of darkness your trip to hospital is by land ambulance to either North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple or the RD&E Hospital in Exeter, both taking approximately 50 minutes. Let’s get the landing of the air ambulance to Hatherleigh to make this 20 minutes.”