Weymouth and Port-land Borough Council has defended its decision to replace Victorian lights on the seafront with lasers after concerns they could attract stag parties.

The borough is working with artists Claire Oboussier and Vong Phaophanit and lighting consultant Parsons Binkerhoff on the £500,000 scheme that will see ‘veils of light’ projected towards the sky and out to sea.

A council spokesman said a four-day exhibition had ‘elicited a very favourable response.’ The old Victorian lights and posts, along with the strings of coloured bulbs, will be removed from the central seafront area, but the Victorian shelters will remain.

It is being funded by English Heritage as part of the Weymouth Seafront Regeneration Programme.

But one resident is worried that the changes could be more suitable for ‘nightclubs, pubs and stag parties’ than seaside family holidays.

Mike Taylor, an Osmington artist, has been displaying his work on the seafront for over 20 years and said he is not happy about the idea of changing from the old-fashioned Victorian cast iron lights to the new laser ones.

He said: “The fairy lights look so lovely and now they’re going to get rid of them and put in these lasers. To me the fairy lights say ‘family’ and the lasers say ‘clubs and pubs.’”

He added: “What really upsets me is that from the King’s Statue to the Pavilion we have the Victorian lamps and the smaller festival lamps and they look classy and go with the Victorian seafront.

“Surely the money being spent on this should have been spent on the toilets. They’re disgusting.

“I think because of the Olympics the council is trying to make Wey-mouth ‘cutting edge’ but we’re not, and lasers will bring stag parties.”

But Seafront Regeneration Group chairman Howard Legg said that this couldn’t be further from what the council had envisaged.

He said: “There’s no basis at all for suggesting the artist-led lighting scheme will attract ‘stag dos’ or ‘drunk and disorderly behaviour’.

“As is clear from the title of the project, this is an artist-led scheme which will be subtle with gradual and phased introduction of lighting planned to create a relaxed and calming atmosphere. There’s no question of any sort of ‘laser light show’ with multicoloured flashing lights. That would be the very opposite of what is desired.”