A village Christmas tree in Meavy, Devon, finds itself without lights after Devon County Council forced the lights to be turned off following a health and safety complaint.

The tree, which is standing outside a local pub, was donated by villagers and lit via cables suspended from a garage over the road. However, Devon County Council received an anonymous complaint from a concerned resident about the cables, and agreed that the cabling looked “higgledy-piggledy”. Stephen Earp, the landlord of the pub, plans to light the tree up once again using a 12-volt battery.

Mr Earp said, “A lot of people are upset about the lights being taken off. The Grinch has taken away Christmas. How sad in this season of goodwill.”

However, a council spokesperson didn't seem to agree. They said, “Any cable crossing a public highway must maintain an absolute minimum clear height above the carriageway, which must be just over 5m. In this instance the height was not an issue, but it was felt the cabling was a bit higgledy-piggledy and not particularly safe.”