A new watertight door is needed at the Isle of Wight's iconic Needles Lighthouse.

Trinity House — the official lighthouse authority in England — has put the plans forward as part of modernisation works for the 165-year-old lighthouse.

The Needles Lighthouse has been undergoing its 20 to 25-year review to ensure it is fit for purpose for the next 20 or so years.

It is proposed to fit a new stainless steel watertight door over the top of the current pair of bronze heritage doors.

The existing doors are at least 70 years old, but could have been added when the lighthouse was first built in 1859.

As the lighthouse is now remotely manned from Essex  — and has been since 1994 — the way engineers leave the lighthouse means the doors cannot be properly secured to withstand a storm and the strong waves that come with it.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Due to that, Trinity House said the doors have failed multiple times as they are beaten open by the waves, causing flooding, and are not fit for purpose.

As the technicians visit the lighthouse months apart, the water ingress can go unnoticed for a long time which causing damage to the Grade II listed building.

In March last year, the Isle of Wight Council refused a previous plan for a new external door as it “would harm the special character” of the building because of its flat and projecting design, highly reflective appearance and method of fixing.

Responding to the planning authority’s concerns, Trinity House has proposed a flat door which would seal against the round structure of the lighthouse tower and mean it cannot be pushed open by the force of the sea.

The door would be unpolished stainless steel and would be weathered throughout its life, becoming a duller grey colour, Trinity House said.

A suggestion from the Isle of Wight Council was to add another internal door, behind the heritage ones, but Trinity House said that would not be a viable alternative as it means the doors would likely be damaged further and ultimately lost.

You can view the plans, 23/02224/LBC, on the Isle of Wight Council’s planning register. Comments can be submitted until March 16.