Light pollution

Information on what is considered light pollution and how to make a complaint.

What to consider for a complaint

Artificial lighting is important for:

  • Lighting roads at night
  • For security of residential and commercial properties
  • Sporting pitches

Light pollution is when artificial light  illuminates areas that are not intended to be lit, and as a result, causes light to trespass into neighbouring properties. This can happen from inconsiderate location, excessive brightness or poor placement. 

In the first instance, it would be recommended to talk to your neighbour about any light complaint you are experiencing. Often, your neighbour is not aware of the problem and can quickly resolve it.

If the problem continues, we have a duty to investigate complaints to establish whether the light is causing a statutory nuisance. 

Please be aware this does not apply to natural light e.g. sunlight reflecting off solar panels on a property.

How we investigate

When officers investigate light complaints they must determine how unreasonable the light is to the average person.

The expectation in law is that that a person uses blinds/curtains to block out light at night.

We will require you to complete a diary to detail how and when you are affected by the light.

We will contact the person causing the light to make them aware that a complaint has been received and where possible, provide advice on control measures. 

Officers will undertake monitoring to gather evidence regarding potential statutory nuisance. 

If it is determined that a statutory nuisance exists, there are a number of legal powers available to resolve the problem, including service of an enforcement notice and legal charges.

Taking private action

You can take action if you are affected by the existence of a nuisance. This would be to a Magistrates’ Court, where an Order could be granted requiring the reduction of the nuisance and a fine may also be issued. 

Advice

The Environmental Protection Team is available to provide advice on lighting control measures for both residential and commercial premises. 

Contact information

Telephone: (01642) 774774
Email: environmental.protection@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk 
Our service hours are Monday to Thursday 09:00 till 17:00, and Friday 09:00 till 16:30.