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Light pollution

Defective light bulb icon

Certain types of artificial light, if improperly sited or used, could give rise to statutory nuisance. When assessing potential statutory nuisance after receipt of a complaint of nuisance form, the Local Authority will take into account factors including:

  • Duration
  • Frequency
  • Impact - i.e. material interference with use of property or personal well-being; actually or likely to be adverse to health
  • Local environment
  • Motive - i.e. reasonableness of the behaviour of the subject
  • Sensitivity of the plaintiff - statutory nuisance relies on the concept of the average person, and is not designed to take account of unusual sensibilities.  It is considered 'average' to have some kind of window covering at night - it would be difficult for us to take action on intrusive light where some form of curtain or blind is not in place or used.

There are exemptions to this legislation; the following sources of artificial light cannot be treated as a statutory nuisance:

  • Airports
  • Railway premises
  • Tramway premises
  • Bus stations and associated facilities
  • Public service vehicle operating centres
  • Goods vehicle operating centres
  • Prisons
  • Premises occupied for Defence purposes

These premises are deemed to require high levels of light for safety and security reasons.  The most common source of complaint is domestic security lights.  If you're being disturbed by your neighbours lighting, we would encourage you to speak to your neighbour first where possible.  Many cases of artificial light nuisance can be solved through simple measures and consideration of function and effect.  Remember, when installing a lighting system, the minimum level of illumination necessary to light a property should be used.

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