PO Box 10, Oxford, OX1 1EN
Tel 01865 249811
This is defined as "artificial light emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance". It constitutes a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (provision added by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005).
This does not apply to artificial light from the following:
Also, a statutory defence of "best practicable means" will be available to:
The lighting of many of these facilities is also covered by planning legislation.
However, few, if any, instances of this kind will fulfil the criteria of a "nuisance" given the specialist meaning of that word in the Act. That is not synonymous with "annoyance" and it is narrower than "nuisance" in common law. There is also no records of successful private litigation.
It does not concern aesthetics either. The statutory nuisances are essentially about public health and, while lights briefly turning on and off, triggered by cats and foxes, may be irritating to light sleeping people with thin curtains, they will rarely, if ever, be harmful.
If you are experiencing light pollution from your neighbours try approaching the owner, politely requesting:
It might help if you can show the neighbour the effect of the light from "your side of the fence". You can also politely suggest to the owner that they may be wasting money on excessive lighting.
To report a problem with light pollution, contact us using the details in the 'Contact Us' menu at the top of this page or fill out our online form.
Visit the Defra website for more details about light pollution.
Page last reviewed 13 February 2013
Environmental Protection Team
St Aldate's Chambers
109 St Aldate's