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Your Borough Of Poole

Light Nuisance

When is light nuisance a statutory nuisance?

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 amended the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to bring artificial light from premises under the statutory nuisance regime as of 6 April 2006. This law empowers local authorities to deal with light from fixed premises. Before action can be taken we have to be sure that the light constitutes a statutory nuisance. This means that we have to prove that the light is prejudicial to health and/or is causing an unreasonable and persistent disturbance to your lifestyle.

There are a number of different sources of light pollution and the following are some examples:

  • artificial light from a neighbour (e.g. security light)
  • commercial light (e.g. from a local business or manufacturer)  

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Light from a neighbour

Excessive artificial light from neighbours can be frustrating and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and worry. In many cases, the person responsible for the light is unaware that they are causing a problem and therefore the problem can be sorted out quite quickly.

Where this approach fails we can serve a notice on the offending party requiring them to abate the nuisance. If such a notice is not complied with then legal action can follow.

The Environmental Protection Act also contains a section allowing for a private individual to serve a notice and pursue their own action through the courts, more information on this process is available be emailing Environmental Services.

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What to do if you are suffering from artificial light nuisance

If artificial light is a problem, there are steps you can take to get it stopped. The first thing to do is to speak to the person causing the problem. In most cases, if you ask politely, they will take steps to solve your problem.

If this does not work and your requests to stop causing light nuisance fail, you can report the nuisance by:

  • Calling 01202 261700 during working hours
  • Calling our 24 hour emergency line on 0800 506050 out of hours
  • Using our online report it form
  • Taking out a magistrates court order to get the light stopped

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How to set up your security lights

Guidance is given by DEFRA

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Contact us


01202 261700

Text Relay
18001 01202 261700

Environmental Services
Unit 1
Newfields Business Park
2 Stinsford Road
BH17 0NF