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Light Pollution

Light pollution is any artificial light that is allowed to illuminate areas not intended to be lit. 

Light-flareLight pollution can have a detrimental effect upon the local community and environment.

For light at a premises to be a statutory nuisance it must unduly illuminate another premise so as to cause nuisance or be prejudicial to health. A typical example of light pollution would be an inappropriately positioned security light shining into another property’s bedroom window.

Please note: Certain premises are exempt from legislation. These include Airports, Railway premises, Bus Stations, Lighthouses, Prisons and Defence facilities.

Action cannot be taken merely because a person is aware of light spilling onto their property from another source. The determination of statutory nuisance is based upon a number of factors, including:

  • The nature of the surrounding area; rural/urban/commercial?
  • How many light nuisance incidents have occurred to date; e.g. one, ten or more?
  • How often is the light in use; e.g. monthly, weekly, nightly or hourly?
  • What time of the night is the light in use from and when is it turned off?
  • How long does the light last for; e.g. seconds, minutes, hours or longer?
  • What is the impact of the light, e.g. how bright is it in your house and what rooms are affected?
  • Have any measures been taken to mitigate the impact of the light by the complainant; e.g. use of curtains or blinds?

If the department obtains evidence that substantiates the allegations, action will be taken to improve the situation.

This could require some form of informal control work being carried out, but usually involves serving an abatement notice on the person responsible. This requires them to abate the nuisance or to reduce the intrusion to a reasonable level deemed appropriate by the investigating officer. Failure to comply with an abatement notice is a criminal offence.

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Report light pollution by contacting SRS:

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