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Who is conducting this engineering crusade?

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Am I alone in my frustration regarding lightning conductors?

They are appearing with increasing frequency, in increasingly objectionable positions on our buildings, with mere mumblings of justification by our services engineers. Protests lead to that engineerish patting on the head that is reserved for people who don't understand.

A current example is a Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe which incorporates a Grade II*listed nineteenth century church. The church has a tower 33m high, which is very elegant and furnished with four lightning conductors. Our new extension is 6.5m high to the parapet and at its farthest point is 4.5m from the tower itself. My client is expected to pay for six new lightning conductors.

Can someone explain please?

Solar flares, global warming, a conspiracy between copper and aluminium manufacturers and the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers, one of these glitches that occasionally appear in the British Standards and regulations, the Internet, a Lottery requirement. . . ? Has the incidence of lightning strikes in built-up areas reduced as a result of this expenditure?

Before I ask the Archbishop of York, who I understand has experience of this kind of thing, is there anyone else out there with an explanation?

Ian Tod, Allen Tod, Leeds

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