Lights will stay on in six Basildon  estates after the council pleaded fo County Hall to spare the locations because of high crime.

Essex County Council agreed not to switch off the lights for the time being, but has told Basildon it needs to present evidence to support its claims.

For the time being, Chalvedon, Pitsea's 1,2,3 estate, Craylands, Felmores, Langdon Hills, and Five Links will have their lights kept on while County Hall looks into the impact of the big switch off elsewhere.

On January 31, 70 per cent of the borough's lights will go off between midnight and 5am.

Tony Ball, Basildon Council leader, brokered talks involving County Hall’s councillor responsible for transport, Rodney Bass. Mr Ball, with Tory councillor John Dornan and officers, met Mr Bass behind closed doors several times to plead their case.

The authority threatened to take County Hall to judicial review, claiming the county rushed through proposals without looking into the impact.

Mr Ball said: “We tried to make the point that turning out the lights in some areas would create a false saving for County Hall. We need to remember the lights should have gone off on November 1.

“I’m pleased County Hall has agreed to work with us and some estates will see their lights stay on.

“We will continue to work with them to see what the impact is for the rest of the borough.”

Mr Ball said they approached County Hall about estates with “special circumstances’’ because of crime issues.

The Echo asked for an interview with Mr Bass, but this was declined.

A County Hall spokesman said: “Being sensitive to local needs, we have made available the time for the borough council to submit evidence as to why a number of lights on these estates should not be incorporated into the scheme.”