AIRCRAFT warning lights on one of Hampshire's biggest and best-known landmarks have been switched off ahead of its demolition.

Twelve red lights attached to the 650ft chimney at Fawley power station - most of which has already been blown up - were visible from 30 miles away.

The 300-acre site is owned by Fawley Waterside, which has been given planning permission for 1,500 homes.

In 2017 the consortium unveiled proposals to retain the chimney and build a glass-sided restaurant at the top. However, the idea was dropped following talks with New Forest District Council and the National Park Authority.

In a statement announcing that the aviation lights were being switched off Fawley Waterside said all the statutory authorities had been notified in advance.

It added: "This disconnection is in preparation for demolition of the power station chimney this winter. A date and time for this explosive event has not yet been determined."

Asked why the lights had already been turned off a Fawley Waterside spokesperson said: "There is a significant amount of preparation work required to safely demolish the chimney.

"In agreement with the demolition contractor, Brown and Mason, power to the chimney is being switched off now to provide the safest possible working environment."

The chimney originally had a total of 16 LED lights but in 2014 the lower level was switched off and the bulbs saved as spares.

As well as alerting pilots to the presence of the huge structure the lights also served as a night-time navigation aid for sailors in the Solent.

Posting on Facebook an RNLI Calshot Lifeboat spokesperson said "There will be a change to Calshot’s skyline with the loss of a significant navigation tool.

"The chimney will no longer be visible at a distance outside of daylight hours."

In a message to sailors they added: "It’s worth making a mental note if you are a water user. Certainly one which will take a while to get used to."

As reported in the Daily Echo the proposed development of the site is expected to cost between £800m and £1bn.

The oil-fired power station closed in 2013 after failing to meet modern environmental standards.

It has since been used as a location for movies and TV series, including Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation, Red Dwarf, Spies, Endeavour and the latest Star Wars film, Solo.