In 2005 the
Clean Neighbourhoods Act amended the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to include nuisance from artificial light. It is now possible for Local Authorities to take action against individuals or businesses who cause a light nuisance to neighbouring properties.
Artificial lighting can be annoying for neighbours if it is shining through their windows or onto their property. Light sensors can be triggered by small animals, and can sometimes go on at night and interfere with sleep if the light enters neighbouring properties.
How we investigate
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Sedgemoor District Council is responsible for monitoring and investigating claims of light nuisance within the area.
If you believe an artificial light is causing a nuisance and it is not from an exempted premises, we will ask you for the address and write to the person(s) you believe are responsible, informing them there has been a complaint. Please note, we do not disclose details of who has complained and we cannot investigate anonymous complaints.
We will also send you record sheets and ask you to fill these in with as much information as possible, particularly the dates and times the light is on.
We will also want to witness the effect of the artificial light, looking at the nature of the surrounding area, the frequency and duration, the length of time the light stays on and the impact of the light in liveable rooms inside your property, this will typically be the bedroom or lounge.
The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has provided some guidance regarding the investigation of light nuisance. This is titled "Statutory Nuisance from Insects and Artificial Light - Guidance on Sections 101 to 103 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005". This can be downloaded from the DEFRA web site.