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Light pollution

The introduction of the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005 permitted artificial light from certain sources to be considered as a statutory nuisance.

The legislation relates to artificial light emitted from premises which is prejudicial to health, or considered a nuisance. Certain exemptions apply where the light is required for security purposes.

The type of premises expected to give rise to the most complaints are from:

  • domestic security lights
  • commercial security lights
  • healthy living and sports facilities
  • domestic decorative lighting
  • exterior lighting of buildings
  • laser shows/sky beams/light art

The legislation that officers use to remedy complaints regarding light is contained within the Environmental Protection Act 1990. A section of the Act identifies that light emitted from premises can constitute a statutory nuisance.

For light to be considered to be a statutory nuisance there must be evidence of the effect that it has upon the complainant's use of their own premises. The investigation of your artificial light complaint will be to identify if a statutory nuisance exists. The officer will contact the person who is responsible for the light and in the first instance try to establish if a simple remedy can be found for the complaint. If the owner of the lighting is not prepared to remedy the situation and the officer considers that the light constitutes a statutory nuisance then the appropriate notice will be served and prosecution action may be taken for breaches of the notice.

Please complete the online form to make a complaint about light pollution. Alternatively, you can call the Environment Contact Centre on 01642 726001.