Artificial lighting is important for:
- Lighting roads at night;
- For security of residential and commercial properties;
- Sporting pitches
Light pollution is when artificial light is allowed to illuminate 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 angulation.
In the first instance, it would be recommended to talk to your neighbour about any light complaint you are experiencing. It is often the case that your neighbour is not aware of the problem and can quickly resolve it.
If the problem continues, the Environmental Protection Team has a duty to investigate complaints under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to establish whether the light is causing a statutory nuisance.
Please be aware the Act 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 prosecution.
Taking private action
You are able to take your own private 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 abatement of the nuisance and a fine may also be issued.
The Environmental Protection Team is available to provide advice on lighting control measures for both residential and commercial premises.
Our service hours are Monday to Thursday 09:00 till 17:00, and Friday 09:00 till 16:30.